LONDON: Maurizio Sarri admitted that Chelsea paid the price for a slow start and lack of instinctive killer, as Jordan Pirford's heroine won Everton with a 0-0 draw on Sunday.
Sarri's side rebounded from a poor performance in the first half and fired Everton's goal after the break, but found Pickford unbeatable as England's goalkeeper made a series of nice shots.
The impasse at Stamford Bridge left Chelsea two points behind Liverpool, defeating Fulham earlier on Sunday.
It was a disappointing afternoon for Chelsea, which extended their unbeaten start under Sarri in 18 races in all the matches but could not count their territorial dominance.
"I did not like the first 25 minutes. We moved the ball too late, so it was impossible for us to be dangerous," she said.
"I'm not happy, of course, I do not know why we're starting late, it's a good question, I do not think it's a natural problem."
"In the second half, we played at higher speed and intensity, so maybe it's a mental problem."
"We may have some difficulty in approaching the struggle from a spiritual point of view. It is difficult to answer."
Frustrated by Chelsea's failure to turn the goal into a goal, Sarri said: "Usually, yes, we are pretty sharp, but not in the last three races." As I told my players, I created very few goal opportunities in terms of how much I played .
"Right now maybe it's a small problem. Three fights are too short."
"I think I played really well for 65 minutes, but we can do better."
Sarri is the first new coach to avoid defeat in his first 12 Premier League races, giving him the exclusive possession of a landmark he shared with Frank Clark of Nottingham Forest to be held this weekend.
"I'm very proud of this, I have to say thank you to the players and my staff, of course, I prefer three points from the record," Sarri said.
Recognizing that Chelsea will not be easy to keep up with the rhythms of Liverpool and the city, Sarri added: "At this moment, the average points for City and Liverpool are very high, it is very difficult to stay close to these teams . "
It did not help, despite having won Crystal Palace twice this past weekend, Álvaro Morata tried once again to impose.
Chelsea eventually threatened when Marco Alonso's free kick just shone.
It took 39 minutes for Sarri's team to get a shot at the goal when Alonso met Willian's high free kick with a thunderbolt volley that Piercross had been relegated to.
Bernard was in a hurry just before midfielder, aggressively moving to Antonio Rüdiger after Chelsea's defending team faced him for his failed attempt to win a free kick.
Rüdiger seems to be taking advantage of the least possible contact from Bernard and both players were detained by referee Kevin Friend.
That was one of the many points in a clash that saw Chelsea's Jorginho holding for crunching at Gylfi Sigurðsson.
"It was a tough fight and I hope we will not lose Sigurðsson after Jorginho attack," said Everton coach Marco Silva.
Eden Hazard tried to shoot Chelsea in life shortly after the time, hopping on an ambitious cross that Morata caused goals, only for Pickford to make an excellent stop.
When Hazard slipped a wonderful pass to Willian, it seemed certain that the Brazilian would break the dead end, but sent his shot to width.
By making his second start after returning from a back injury, Hazard was much livelier in the second half and his tedious drive forced Pickford to save himself.
Everton fired with Everton's defeat, and Hazard went back again when his shot was thrown off by Yerry Mina, forcing Pickford to turn over in full stretch.
Only wood sculpture denied Chelsea when Alonso's low shot hit the far end while Harris cut a shot narrower as the blues disappointment was placed.