LIVERPOOL, England — Steven Naismith scored a hat trick to guide Everton to a convincing 3-1 victory over Chelsea on Saturday, as the new season took another sharp turn for the worse for Jose Mourinho's champions.
Having come on as a ninth-minute substitute for the injured Muhamed Besic, Naismith headed Everton into a 17th-minute lead at Goodison Park and quickly followed up by scoring his second with a low drive from outside the area.
Nemanja Matic pulled a goal back for Chelsea with a long-distance effort in the 36th and Mourinho's side kept pushing for an equalizer after the break.
But Naismith put the result beyond doubt by squeezing an angled shot through the legs of Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic in the 82nd minute.
The strike sealed a second consecutive defeat for Chelsea, which went into the international break after losing a London derby 2-1 to Crystal Palace and now has just four points from its five league games.
"The results are too wrong for our quality, too wrong for our status and too wrong for what the players deserve," Mourinho told BT Sport.
"The way they are playing is not so bad as the results, but in every game everything goes against (us), even today... We are dominant — we dominate, we dominate, we dominate — they go on a counterattack and score the third goal."
However, Mourinho said he had faith in his players and that Chelsea's fortunes would turn.
"Let's wait for better days, let's wait for better results and I trust they will do that," he said.
The problems facing Mourinho clearly start at the back, with last season's tightest defense in the Premier League already conceding 12 goals — compared to 32 throughout 2014-15.
Chelsea's players showed some early intent but were caught cold by Everton's well-worked opener.
Naismith took possession outside the area and fed the ball wide to Brendan Galloway on the left flank. His inch-perfect cross behind Chelsea's defense was met with a powerful header from Naismith into the corner that gave Begovic no chance.
Just five minutes later, Naismith was given time and space to rifle home a low shot from outside the area.
Eden Hazard and Diego Costa tried to make life difficult for the Everton defense but they created little in the way of scoring chances — thanks to a player who could easily have been their teammate.
John Stones, who put in an off-season transfer request amid a series of Chelsea bids for the England center-half, was in superb form. Quick to intercept and calm under pressure, Stones was more than a match for Costa and the Chelsea attack.
Chelsea clearly needed a goal to get back into the match and Matic conjured one out of nothing.
Collecting the ball some 30 meters (yards) out, the Serbian international unleashed a ferocious drive that flew past a helpless Tim Howard in the Everton goal.
It wasn't the only helping hand that Chelsea would receive.
Early in the second half, Everton's former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku raced through on the breakaway before being challenged by John Terry. As the ball ran loose, the Chelsea skipper gave the ball a nudge towards Begovic, who quickly smothered it — prompting protests from Everton of a back-pass.
Play was waved on by referee Andre Marriner and Chelsea kept pushing for an equalizer.
At least until the 82nd minute.
Ross Barkley threaded the ball through the right side of the area and Naismith managed to steer his shot past Begovic and into the far left corner to complete a memorable day for Everton, and a very dismal afternoon for Mourinho.