Four goals from Cole Palmer, an excellently taken Nicolas Jackson strike and a first goal in Blue from Alfie Gilchrist helped Chelsea record a dominant 6-0 win over Everton at Stamford Bridge.

We produced one of our strongest displays of the season to blow Everton away, with Palmer the star of the show. The England international's four-goal haul included a perfect, first-half hat-trick and took him to 20 in the league this season.

Palmer's treble was struck before the game had reached the 30-minute mark. Jackson then added our fourth before the interval, he found the bottom corner after a sublime touch and finish.

Palmer got his fourth of the night from the penalty spot after the break – Noni Madueke fouled inside the box – and a fine late strike from Academy graduate and boyhood Blues fan Gilchrist completed a perfect night.

Blues strike fast

Mauricio Pochettino made two changes from the side that drew at Sheffield United eight days ago. Malo Gusto returned for Axel Disasi in defence while Mykhailo Mudryk came in for Enzo Fernandez. Conor Gallagher reverted to a deeper role next to Moises Caicedo.

Chelsea almost made the perfect start when Palmer delivered an early free-kick into a dangerous area. Unfortunately, Trevoh Chalobah just failed to make contact at the back post.

It was the visitors who fashioned the first clear chance of the evening. Beto was picked out by Seamus Coleman inside the Chelsea penalty area but the striker's effort cleared the crossbar.

We quickly made the Toffees pay thanks to a moment of magic from Palmer. The forward collected the ball in the final third, nutmegged Jarrad Branthwaite, exchanged a backheeled pass with Jackson, and then guided the ball into the far corner.

Cole takes over

Palmer almost had his 18th Premier League goal of the season a minute later. Madueke crossed from the left wing but with the goal at his mercy, the ball fell behind our No.20 who couldn't make clear contact.

Not that he had to wait long, however. His second came from a flowing Blues move.

Caicedo did excellently on the edge of the box to find Mudryk, who picked out Jackson six yards out. Pickford saved his shot but the rebound fell to Palmer who headed home.

At this point, the Bridge was rocking with Palmer orchestrating attack after attack. His fellow forward Jackson was next to go close, firing just over the bar from the edge of the area.

Inevitably, the third went to Palmer. Pickford was at fault, as he gifted possession to the Chelsea forward well outside of his goal. But Palmer's finish was exquisite as he lifted the ball high with his right foot and it dropped perfectly into the net.

A perfect hat-trick completed in the space of just 16 minutes – and our first since 2019.

Extending our lead

Everton appeared to have found a way back into the contest on half hour mark. Forward Beto headed firmly beyond Djordje Petrovic from Ashley Young’s cross, only for the visitors celebrations to be cut short by an offside flag.

James Tarkowski then went close for Everton as he got on the end of a deep free-kick only his effort to be deflected behind by Chalobah.

Despite letting the game fall into a temporary lull, the Blues had time for a fourth before the break. Marc Cucurella managed to get down the left channel to get a cross into the box.

The ball found Jackson, who swivelled sharply to find the corner with a clever finish on the bounce. The half-time whistle followed with the Blues four to the good and in total control.

Adding a fifth

Everton made a triple change at the break but failed to stem the tide. The Blues continued to carry a threat every time we went forward.

Palmer was presented with an opportunity to score his fourth as he was played clean through on goal by Mudryk. This time Pickford foiled the England forward with a strong save.

Yet a chance for our fifth came when Madueke was bundled over in the box by Tarkowski. Palmer stepped up and duly sent the Everton keeper the wrong way for his fourth of the night.

With a commanding lead, Pochettino introduced Carney Chukwuemeka for Madueke. The next chance fell to Mudryk after a driving run from Jackson, but the Ukrainian’s effort was straight at Pickford.

Palmer was later withdrawn for Cesare Casadei, receiving a standing ovation from all corners of Stamford Bridge for a majestic display.

Our record win against Everton – 6-0 from 1948/49, was then matched as we crept into added time. Gilchrist smashed home after Ben Chilwell's initial effort was saved for his first goal in Chelsea Blue. His celebration was one of pure emotion in front of the Shed End.

That goal completed the scoring. Pochettino and his players can reflect on a fine evening that made it eight games without defeat in the Premier League and saw us close the gap on the European places.

What does it mean

The win means we sit ninth in the Premier League table with seven league fixtures still to play. But the gap to eighth-placed West Ham is now just a sole point, with sixth-placed Newcastle only three points away.

What is next

Chelsea are in FA Cup action with a semi-final against Manchester City this Saturday, April 20. Kick-off at Wembley is 5.15pm.

The Teams

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Petrovic; Gusto (Gilchrist 87), Chalobah, Silva, Cucurella; Caicedo, Gallagher; Mudryk (Chilwell 78), Palmer (Casadei 78), Madueke (Chukwuemeka 71); Jackson (Deivid Washington 87)

Unused substitutes: Bettinelli, Badiashile, George, Dyer.

Goals: Palmer 13' 18' 29' 64', Jackson 44', Gilchrist 90'

Booked: Mudryk

Everton (4-4-1-1): Pickford, Coleman (Patterson 45 (Godfrey 90), Tarkowski, Branthwaite (Keane 57), Mykolenko; Young, Onana (Harrison 45), Garner (Gomes 45), McNeil, Doucoure; Beto.

Unused Substitutes: Virgínia, Danjuma, Chermiti, Warrington.

Bookings: Garner, Young, Tarkowski, Keane

Referee: Paul Tierney

Attendance: 39,392