Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta admits they must address goalscoring problems or face another season of frustration.
The return of Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan on loan after a disappointing campaign leading the line and the inconsistent form of Timo Werner meant new signing Raheem Sterling started at centre-forward in the 1-0 win against Everton.
It is not a long-term solution for manager Thomas Tuchel, and they were indebted to Jorginho’s late first-half penalty for victory.
“You know, every team wants to score a lot of goals and not concede. It is true that perhaps at the top it is obvious that we were a little far in recent years, said Azpilicueta.
“You know it’s been five seasons since we last won the Premier League. We have to score goals if we want to win anything.
– We must score goals and not concede anything.
“Recently, the last couple of games in the Premier League, we haven’t scored enough and with half a chance we concede.
“So that’s our problem and that’s why we finished third 20 or more points behind Manchester City.”
Defender Ben Chilwell admits the team is still a work in progress, but opening up with a win was all that was needed from their first game of the new season.
Their first win in five visits to Goodison Park was far from a fluid, confident performance, but after a summer of change on and off the pitch – new ownership taking over, significant moves in and out of the squad and a disjointed pre-season – Chilwell accept that it will take some time for things to melt.
“We have a lot to work on and improve on, but the most important thing was the three points and we got them, so we’re happy,” he told chelseafc.com.
“We’re a changing team and we’re still trying to work together. We’ve got new players coming in and new ownership, so we’re still working hard and basically taking each game as it comes.”
Chilwell’s start at Goodison Park was his first significant appearance – apart from a brief cameo on the final day of the season – since the end of November following a serious knee injury and he won the spot-kick that produced the winner.
He played just over an hour before being substituted, while new big money signing Marc Cucurella came off the bench in the last 15 minutes to remind Chilwell that he will have competition for his place.
“We’re at Chelsea so there’s going to be a lot of good players,” he added.
“The competition for places is going to be fierce and obviously we are going to push each other in the same way as everyone else in the team.
“I feel good and ready. It’s obviously my first game in the Premier League for a long time so I’m really happy to be back, it’s the best feeling in the world.
“I’ve been out for a long time so to come back to the Premier League and have an impact in winning a penalty for the team to win was a really good feeling.
“I’ve been working hard for a long time for that moment to play in the Premier League again and it just felt fantastic to be back on the pitch with the boys.
“I’ve had the whole pre-season plus a few extra weeks where I came in early, but it’s completely different to this.
“We (Chilwell and manager Thomas Tuchel) had a conversation where he asked if I felt ready and I said ‘of course’.
“I don’t know if I am, but I feel like I am. I’ve worked hard over the summer, so in my head mentally and physically I’m ready to help the team.”