London Soccer Shorts – Chelsea

Yellow Sports Dave Bishop was at Stamford Bridge to run the rule over Chelsea. He was treated to an excellent performance from the Blues who thrashed troubled Everton by six unanswered goals…

Chelsea 6-0 Everton

Cole Palmer produced probably the most sensational individual performance of the season so far, scoring four times on the night as Chelsea thrashed relegation-threatened Everton 6-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Former Manchester City midfielder Palmer further boosted his chances of selection for England’s Euro 2024 squad with his tally on the night putting him level with Erling Haaland at the top of the Premier League goal-scoring chart on twenty apiece.

Mauricio Pochettino made two changes to his starting line-up following the 2-2 draw at Sheffield United last weekend with Malo Gusto and Mykhailo Mudryk coming into the side for Axel Disasi and Enzo Fernandez, whilst Sean Dyche brought in Amadou Onana and Beto in place of Andre Gomes and Dominic Calvert Lewin following Everton’s 1-0 win against Burnley at Goodison Park

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With the players and officials ‘taking the knee’ before the start to mark the ‘No Room For Racism’ campaign, the game began at a frantic pace with play flowing from end to end but to little effect before, the first real goalscoring opportunity of the game, Everton’s Ashley Young found Seamus Coleman to fire a low through ball across the box – only for Beto – with an open goal in front of him to dramatically fire high over the crossbar from around three yards out.

Chelsea took the lead in the thirteenth minute when Palmer nutmegged Jarrad Branthwaite before playing a one-two with Nicolas Jackson and slotting the ball home past Jordan Pickford into the bottom left corner from twenty yards out.

Buoyed by the goal, the Blues pushed forward with renewed intensity and just five minutes later, Pickford was on top form to deny Jackson from close range only for Palmer to head home the resultant rebound to make it 2-0.

Chelsea went three up just before the half-hour mark when Pickford’s wayward clearance from outside of the area went straight to the feet of Palmer, to take the touch and lob the ball over the keeper’s head from forty yards out into an empty net to complete a scintillating hat-trick – his second in successive matches at Stamford Bridge.

With Everton still trying to get forward and battling bravely, they had the ball in the net in the thirty-sixth minute when Beto headed home Young’s cross – only for referee Paul Tierney to rule out the ‘goal’ for offside.

Just on the forty-five-minute mark, Jackson showed great technique to bring Marc Cucurella’s left-sided cross under control before swivelling beautifully to volley home past the hapless Pickford once more to make it 4-0.

In an attempt to salvage something from the game, Dyche made a triple substitution at the start of the second half with Nathan Patterson, Jack Harrison and Gomes replacing Coleman, James Garner and Onana and Gomes was into the action straight away when his speculative twenty-yard strike was deflected just wide of the upright for a corner.

Chelsea were awarded a penalty just on the hour mark after Palmer was pulled back by Abdoulaye Doucoure and for the next few minutes events took an unsightly turn as Jackson and Noni Madueke jostled and argued with Palmer – the regular penalty specialist – as to who would be taking the kick. With the dispute only settled by the intervention of captain Conor Gallagher – though seemingly not amicably – Palmer fired past Pickford once more to become the first Chelsea player since Frank Lampard against Aston Villa in March 2010 to score four goals in a Premier League match.

With Chelsea continuing to press forward relentlessly, Mudryk had a wonderful opportunity to make it six in the seventy-fourth minute – only for the Ukrainian to shoot tamely at Pickford from just inside the box.

Palmer left the pitch to a standing ovation from the Blues faithful ten minutes from the end, to be replaced by Cesare Casadei, before in the final minute of regulation time, substitute Alfie Gilchrist completed the rout after Pickford’s save from Ben Chilwell’s shot bounced back kindly for the youngster to fire home his first goal for the club and make it 6-0.

An outstanding night for the Blues who by virtue of their eight-game unbeaten run, now find themselves in ninth place – just three points off a European qualification spot.  

Chelsea are next in action on Saturday when they face Manchester City in the Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley (5.15pm).

Chelsea: Petrovic, Cucurella, Thiago Silva, Mudryk (Chilwell 80’) Madueke (Chukwuemeka 72’) Chalobah, Jackson (Deivid 88’) Palmer (Casadei 80’) Gallagher (Capt) Caicedo, Gusto (Gilchrist 88’) Subs not used: Bettinelli, Badiashile, George, Dyer

Everton: Pickford, Tarkowski, McNeil, Onana (Andre Gomes 45’) Beta, Doucoure, Young, Mykolenko, Coleman (Capt.) (Patterson 45’) (Godfrey 90+ 2’) Branthwaite (Keane 57’) Garner (Harrison 45’) Subs not used: Virginia, Danjuma, Chermiti, Warrington

Referee: Paul Tierney

Assistants: Scott Ledger and Steven Meredith

Fourth Official: Graham Scott

VAR: Michael Salisbury

Assistant VAR: Constantine Hatzidakis

Attendance: 39,392

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