Chelsea consolidated our top-four position with an extremely accomplished performance on Sunday afternoon at Stamford Bridge, with goals from Mason Mount, Pedro, Willian and Olivier Giroud earning a second win over a Merseyside team in the space of six days.
Mount’s goal was reminiscent of Frank Lampard himself in the way he found the space and finished, and it was certainly appreciated on the touchline by the boss. By scoring the second goal before half-time, Pedro took much of the pressure off and from that platform, the Blues were able to go out in the second half and enjoy our football, thoroughly entertaining the Stamford Bridge crowd along the way.
Everton had only one genuine chance in the first half but after the break they were not even allowed that many. Willian’s goal to make it 3-0 was an outstanding strike and Giroud’s for 4-0 was a predatory finish.
Carry on Billy
While Mount was the Academy product who made the scoresheet today, another of our graduates impressed again. Billy Gilmour was given his first Premier League start and was fundamental to this display, with his ability to keep his team in possession under pressure and play forward passes. In the second half he was moved into a more attacking role and showed ability to get into the box as well. He was named man of the match for the second game running.
Alongside the young Scot, Ross Barkley finished the game with two assists although not the goal that would have compound the misery of many of the Everton fans present.
Lampard rewarded those who had done well in beating Liverpool in the FA Cup by naming as unchanged a side as possible. The only switch was in midfield where with Jorginho suspended and Mateo Kovacic injured, Mount was asked to play.
It took a great save from Jordan Pickford on six minutes to prevent Chelsea taking an early lead. An Everton mistake allowed Giroud to send Willian clear down the right. His cross was spot on and Mount’s volley was a sweet connection, but somehow the England goalie kept it out.
Mount had his big moment just eight minutes later. Playing deeper in midfield today than for much of the season, he took a Gilmour pass and exchanged passes with Pedro who was out wide as the Blues swept forward. On taking the return pass, Mount pivoted smoothly and in the same motion drilled the ball low inside the near post with Pickford flailing. The 21-year-old’s three-month wait for his sixth goal of the season was over, and he had finished it in style.
The Everton keeper did save a shot on the run from Willian not long after conceding but midway through the half it was Chelsea 2 Everton 0 when Barkley, whose every touch was being booed by the fans of his former club, sent Pedro away between two defenders and marginally onside (as soon confirmed by VAR). One-on-one with Pickford, finding the net proved no problem for the Spaniard. Barkley deserves plenty of credit for the assist too.
Chelsea were looking totally on top but Everton really should have pulled a goal back on 26 minutes after a Zouma mistake, but Dominic Calvert-Lewin somehow put his chance wide.
Giroud kept Pickford busy with a shot as the first half drew to a close and we were good value for our half-time 2-0 lead, with the slickness of our attacking play suggesting more goals to come.
Second-half strikes come quickly
Willian and Giroud proved that to be the case inside the first 10 minutes of the second period. For the first of those goals Barkley again provided the final pass, which from 25 yards out was rifled into the bottom corner by Willian with a brilliant strike. Willian then turned provider with a cross of equal quality which Giroud stabbed home from just three yards out.
Chelsea continued to keep the pressure on right up to the final whistle and Pickford kept the scoreline down with a flying save from Pedro and a late, low hand on an Azpilicueta grass-cutter.
The clean sheet for his opposite number was Kepa’s second in a row after his return to the team. He has been busier in most of his Chelsea games but he was especially brave claiming a low cross late on and getting a kick for his trouble.
Premier League debuts
Wide-attacker Tino Anjorin came on for the final 20 minutes, his first Premier League action having featured in the Carabao Cup earlier in the season. He might have had a goal had he not delayed his shot when found by a Gilmour pass. With just under five minutes to go, another 18-year-old, centre-forward Armando Broja, was introduced for his first appearance at this level.
Not his best day on the Stamford Bridge touchline but our Double-winning former manager Carlo Ancelotti was acknowledged by the Chelsea fans with several songs in the second half and had warm words with Lampard before and after the game.
Sticky for the Toffees
How Everton must hate coming to Stamford Bridge! It is now 25 visits here in the Premier League since they last won (back in 1994). That equals the league run without a win at the Bridge that Tottenham suffered between 1993 and 2006, which in turn is the worst by any club at any ground in Premier League history.
A free midweek followed by a trip to the West Midlands for a game against Aston Villa in the Saturday tea-time slot. The game will mean another reunion with John Terry, nowadays the Villa assistant manager, whose current side are second from bottom in the Premier League table.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Kepa; Azpilicueta (c), Rudiger, Zouma, Alonso; Barkley, Gilmour, Mount (James 60); Willian (Anjorin 71), Giroud (Broja 86), Pedro.
Unused subs Caballero, Tomori, Christensen, Batshuayi.
Scorers Mount 14, Pedro 21, Willian 51, Giroud 54
Booked Zouma 82
Everton (4-4-2): Pickford; Digne, Keane, Holgate, Sidibe; Bernard (Walcott h-t), Davies (Kean 58), Gomes, Sigurdsson (c); Calvert-Lewin (Gordon 76), Richarlison.
Unused subs Steckelenburg, Mina, Baines, Iwobi.
Booked Gomes 53, Holgate 90+1
Referee Kevin Friend