Chelsea consolidated their place in the top four with an impressive 4-0 win over fellow top-four hopefuls Everton today at Stamford Bridge.
Frank Lampard’s men came into the game on the back of a 2-0 win over league leaders Liverpool in the FA Cup, and buoyed by that victory, the Blues flew out of the traps.
Mason Mount would force Everton ‘keeper Jordan Pickford into a fine early save from a stinging volley after a slick team move. The 21-year-old attacking midfielder would go one better in the 14th minute though, spinning and firing an unstoppable half volley into the bottom corner.
Former Toffees midfielder Ross Barkley would then return to haunt his boyhood club, playing in Pedro with a fine first-time pass and the Spaniard expertly finished past the onrushing Pickford.
Any hopes Carlo Ancelotti had of his side performing a second-half turnaround were soon dashed, Willian netting with a fine finish in the 50th minute and Olivier Giroud poking home Chelsea’s fourth just five minutes later.
A dominant Chelsea cruised to victory from there on in and speaking afterwards Blues boss Lampard was delighted with his sides overall display.
“Well, it’s collective isn’t,” Lampard told Sky Sports. “When you pick a midfield like we picked, particularly that area with players that are very forward-thinking – there’s two eights in our team – you do worry about the defensive nature of the game.
“But we were spot on every part of our game, not just the midfield three but the team, the attitude, the focus and, to be honest, we’ve played like that a fair bit at home this year but we haven’t had that last bit which is the unpredictable bit.
“Today we had it but the overall performance was brilliant.”
18-year-old Scottish midfielder Billy Gilmour followed up his superb showing against Liverpool with another assured performance in the centre of the park and the Blues manager admitted he reckons the talented youngster is just going to get better and better.
“It’s pleasing,” Lampard added. “It’s something the academy has deserved because they’ve done so much hard work for years and now the players are getting in the team.
“With Billy, I always felt that the more he trained with us the better he got, you could see that. So for me, when he played I think he’s just going to get better.
⭐️ Man of the Match, @ChelseaFC’s Billy Gilmour
91 touches 🥈
74 completed passes 🥇
37 passes in opposition half 🥇
92.5% passing accuracy
1st PL start, aged 18 years & 271 days pic.twitter.com/dTmXdwec6g
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) March 8, 2020
“I’m not jumping the gun because it’s two outstanding performances but when you watch his intelligence and receiving of the ball, he’s always checking his shoulder.
“He plays the simple pass but it’s always right and the perfect weight and he puts his foot in.”