Football Features

Chelsea 4-0 Everton: Billy Gilmour does his best Jorginho impression to help ruin Ancelotti return

By Chris Smith

Published: 15:51, 8 March 2020

Chelsea tightened their grip on fourth place with a comfortable 4-0 win over Everton at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Frank Lampard‘s men opened the scoring within the first quarter of an hour thanks to a smart Mason Mount finish, while Spanish winger Pedro added the second just seven minutes later.

Willian was given the freedom of Stamford Bridge to pick his spot and fire low beyond Jordan Pickford just after half-time, putting the result beyond all doubt, while Olivier Giroud added a fourth from a corner.

The result leaves Chelsea five points clear of Wolves in fifth, while Everton remain stuck down in 12th place, but what did we learn from the match itself?

1. Unwanted history

Given their wretched record away at the so-called “Big Six”, Everton are clocking up some pretty terrible statistics in these matches. Sunday was no different and, in fact, saw the Toffees make a pretty unwanted piece of history.

Everton haven’t won a league match away at Stamford Bridge since November 1994 and Saturday’s latest defeat saw that record extend to a massive 25 games.

That equals the Premier League record for the longest away run without beating a particular opponent, set by Tottenham against, you guessed it, Chelsea.

Given some of the spineless performances put in by Everton at the Bridge over the years, it’s hard to see them putting an end to that run any time soon.

2. Gilmour impresses on first Premier League start

Billy Gilmour seriously caught the eye against Liverpool in the FA Cup in midweek and was rewarded with his first Premier League start against Everton on Sunday. Safe to say, the young Scotsman didn’t disappoint.

Playing in the pivot role usually occupied by Jorginho, Gilmour played with all the composure and verve usually displayed by his Italian teammate, dropping deep between the lines to gain possession, linking play and progressing Chelsea up the pitch quickly with his precision passing.

It didn’t take long for Lampard’s decision to pay dividends, with Gilmour receiving the ball deep before quickly breaking Everton lines with a sharp pass to Mount during the build-up to the first goal, while it was his ball into Giroud which proved to be the catalyst for Chelsea‘s second.

It’s early days for Gilmour and we’re all well aware of how a youngster can fall by the wayside if too much pressure is put on him too early. However, the 18-year-old showed a maturity way beyond his years at Stamford Bridge on Sunday — it looks like Lampard has yet another exciting talent on his hands.

3. Quiet day at the office on Kepa return

Having started against Liverpool in the FA Cup last time out, Kepa Arrizabalaga kept his place between the sticks ahead of Willy Caballero here and the Spaniard couldn’t have wished for an easier afternoon.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin sliced a good one-on-one chance wide in the first half which Kepa couldn’t have been expected to save, while the former Athletic Bilbao man had a couple of long-distance efforts to deal with throughout the match.

That aside, he was merely part of the Stamford Bridge crowd, occasionally receiving the ball as Chelsea played out from the back or catching a hopeless Everton cross.

A confidence-boosting clean sheet with barely a trickle of sweat expended.

4. Unhappy return for Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti is held in extremely high esteem around this part of London, thanks to his league and cup double with Chelsea back in 2009/10. This was the first time the Italian has faced the Blues since leaving the club in May 2011 and it was not a happy return.

Prior to Sunday’s match, only Liverpool and Manchester City had taken more Premier League points than Everton since Ancelotti‘s appointment. Despite taking just one point from games against Arsenal and Manchester United recently, the Toffees were unlucky not to come away with more having put in two extremely promising performances.

Sunday, however, was a complete contrast. Ancelotti‘s side enjoyed just 39.3% possession at Stamford Bridge, completing only 79% of their passes and managing just one shot on target throughout the 90 minutes.

They barely laid a glove on Chelsea who, at times, looked like they were merely toying with the Merseysiders.

Lampard may be the managerial protege and Chelsea may be the young, exciting side, but it looked like they were men playing against boys on Sunday.

5. Pedro back into the fold

Having seemingly been frozen out throughout much of this season, it now appears that Pedro is once again a key figure for Chelsea.

Lampard hinted recently that the Spanish veteran is set to play an important role for the Blues between now at the end of the season and Sunday was a wonderful example of why.

Pedro used all his nous and experience to get in-between Michael Keane and Djibril Sidibe before being picked out by Ross Barkley and firing home Chelsea‘s second goal, all after providing the assist for Mount’s opener. The 32-year-old was a menace throughout and whether playing on the right or left, caused Ancelotti‘s defence no end of problems on a ruthlessly efficient afternoon.

 

That made it two direct goal involvements in just 22 minutes — more than Pedro managed in his previous 21 Premier League appearances for Chelsea.

Given the inconsistent nature of this youthful Chelsea squad, bringing the vastly experienced Pedro back into the fold might just be the greatest masterstroke of all from Lampard this season.

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