Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea led 2-0, 3-1, and 4-2, but Everton kept coming back at them and it was not until Diego Costa made it 6-3 with his second goal in the last minute that the home side finally admitted defeat at an enraptured Goodison Park.
Chelsea were 2-0 up inside three minutes, with Diego Costa tucking away a pass from Cesc Fabregas after only 36 seconds before Ramires teed up Branislav Ivanovic to drill a low shot past Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard.
But Kevin Mirallas reduced the arrears with a fine header on the stroke of half-time and when Everton right-back Seamus Coleman slid an Eden Hazard cross into his own goal in the 67th minute, it heralded a flurry of five goals in 10 minutes.
Two minutes later Steven Naismith hit back for the hosts to make it 3-2 and although Nemanja Matic then restored the visitors’ two-goal cushion, Samuel Eto’o marked his first Everton appearance since leaving Chelsea by heading home.
But Ramires gathered a pass from Matic and toed the ball past Howard to make it 5-3 and after Mirallas had hit the post, Costa exploited an error from Everton substitute Muhamed Besic to complete the scoring with a classy finish.
The result left Chelsea as one of only two teams to have won their first three games, along with Swansea City, although Tottenham Hotspur can emulate them with victory over Liverpool on Sunday.
“If the salt and pepper of football is goals, to have nine goals in a Premier League match is fantastic ingredients,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.
“I know Everton are a good offensive side and their movement is not easy to control, but we concede three goals — it is too much.”
Senegalese striker Mame Biram Diouf scored a memorable solo goal as Stoke condemned defending champions Manchester City to their first defeat of the season with a shock 1-0 win at the Etihad Stadium.
The former Manchester United forward struck in the 58th minute, picking up the ball in his own half and powering past Aleksandar Kolarov and Vincent Kompany before squeezing a shot between the legs of City goalkeeper Joe Hart.
It was only the second time City had failed to score at home in 71 league matches and only their second home defeat since May 2013.
– Di Maria makes debut –
“It’s a surprising defeat because we don’t expect to lose against Stoke, but these games sometimes happen,” said City manager Manuel Pellegrini.
“We tried from everywhere. We are not very creative, we did not find the space, and that is credit to Stoke.”
British-record signing Angel di Maria made his Manchester United debut earlier on Saturday, but was unable to inspire his new side to victory as they drew 0-0 at promoted Burnley.
A £59.7 million ($98 million, 75 million euros) acquisition from Real Madrid, Di Maria started the game and produced some probing passes and darting runs, but he could not illuminate United’s path to goal against Sean Dyche’s side.
After a loss to Swansea, a draw at Sunderland and a 4-0 humiliation by third-tier Milton Keynes Dons in the League Cup, new United manager Louis van Gaal has now gone four competitive games without recording a win.
“We created chances, but you have to score,” Van Gaal told BT Sport. “A club like Manchester United has to win. We have two points from nine and that’s disappointing.”
Swansea finished the day level on nine points with Chelsea after extending their 100 percent record by beating West Bromwich Albion 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium, where Nathan Dyer claimed a brace.
Neil Warnock’s second stint as Crystal Palace manager began in thrilling fashion as Wilfried Zaha marked his own return to the club by scoring a 95th-minute equaliser to earn a 3-3 draw at Newcastle United.
Newcastle twice fell behind, but they looked to have secured victory in the 88th minute when Mike Williamson made it 3-2, only for Zaha — back at Palace on loan from Manchester United — to drill home deep into injury time.
Elsewhere, a 45th-minute Charlie Austin strike saw Queens Park Rangers claim their first victory of the season in a 1-0 win over Sunderland, while Morgan Schneiderlin scored twice as Southampton came from behind to win 3-1 at West Ham United.