Chelsea strengthen grip on fourth with Everton thrashing

Chelsea strengthen grip on fourth with Everton thrashing

08/03/2020

Chelsea boosted their Champions League prospects with a thumping 4-0 win over Everton at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Academy product Mason Mount opened the scoring on 14 minutes on a day when Frank Lampard handed another rising star his chance in Billy Gilmour, who excelled in the Blues' FA Cup win over Liverpool. Gilmour excelled once again, earning the man of the match award for his efforts.

Pedro made it 2-0 midway through the first half and Everton had no way back, with Willian making three on 51 minutes before Olivier Giroud made it four.

The result solidified Chelsea's position in fourth and moved them to within two points of Leicester in third, while Everton's bid for European football next season took a dent with Carlo Ancelotti's men ending the day in 12th following the joint-heaviest defeat of his managerial career.

"Everything went wrong. It is not difficult to judge this game or analyse this game. We were too open defensively, we lost a lot of duels, we made a lot of mistakes with the ball. It was not a good day. What we can do is learn from our mistakes," Ancelotti said.

"We think we can compete to fight for Europe over the next season. With this type of performance we have to forget [that]."

Everton coach Ancelotti received a warm welcome from the Chelsea fans as he returned to Stamford Bridge, where he won the double with the club in 2010.

And the home fans were nearly on their feet six minutes in when Willian found Mount in the area, but his fierce drive was well kept out by Jordan Pickford.

Chelsea didn't have to wait long for the opener, though, with Mount receiving the ball from Pedro and finishing superbly on the turn, burying the ball into the bottom corner for his first goal in 18 matches.

Pickford did well to deny Willian moments later but could do nothing to stop Pedro doubling the lead on 22 minutes. Former Everton midfielder Ross Barkley played Pedro through and he made no mistake, slotting the ball home to deepen the away side's misery.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin wasted a glorious opportunity to respond five minutes later but he screwed his shot wide when through on goal.

It was a familiar story in the second half, with Willian netting his fifth league goal of the season with a fine arrowed drive that gave Pickford no chance and put the game beyond doubt.

Willian then turned provider, sending over a teasing ball that Giroud met to flick the ball home moments later.

The only sour note on an otherwise positive afternoon for Lampard came when Mount was substituted on the hour mark, clutching his hamstring as he walked towards the dressing room.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard paid particular tribute to the returning former stalwarts who had endured frustrations earlier in the season.

"That is what we need. That's football, whether you're four months from the end of your contract, no matter if you were out of the team for a month," Lampard said.

"You have to train every day, full pelt. You have to be a brilliant teammate and when you come in you have to try and contribute."

The Chelsea coach praised 33-year-old Giroud for focusing on the job even when a move away from Stamford Bridge was blocked by Chelsea's failure to sign another striker in January.

"I've got complete respect for him for that and now he's playing really well on the pitch," he said.

He warned his players that the battle for the fourth Champions League spot remained alive.

"I don't think we are there yet," Lampard said. "To think that we are there and to think that we are over the issues that we have had here at home... would be overconfident."

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