LONDON (Reuters) - Two goals in each half from a rampant Chelsea earned them a 4-0 victory over Carlo Ancelotti’s disappointing Everton on Sunday, cementing their place in the Premier League’s top four.
Everton coach Ancelotti, who spent two years at Chelsea, leading the team which included current Chelsea boss Frank Lampard to the league and FA Cup double in 2010, enjoyed a warm greeting from the Stamford Bridge crowd.
Yet he cut a forlorn figure on the touchline, with his team managing only one shot on target, as Chelsea opened a 2-0 lead with goals from Mason Mount and Pedro before adding to their tally with efforts from Willian and Olivier Giroud.
Everton lie in 12th place in the table, 11 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
Mount scored the first in the 14th minute, bursting from midfield and playing a one-two with Pedro before controlling the ball, turning and shooting low into the corner.
Sixty seconds earlier the youth team graduate had forced Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford into a reflex save from a close-range volley.
Seven minutes later Spain’s Pedro, revelling in space, latched on to a fine through ball from former Everton midfielder Ross Barkley and picked his spot to the left of the advancing Pickford.
The home side doubled their lead in three second-half minutes. In the 51st the indefatigable Barkley set up Willian to shoot across goal and into the far corner from 20 metres with Pickford stranded. Then France striker Giroud poked the ball home from a Willian cross after a corner.
Giroud, who has been starting for Chelsea in the last few weeks with Tammy Abraham struggling for fitness, had been linked with a move away in January.
Yet on Sunday he said he felt physically and mentally fit.
“We’ve been killers in the box. It showed the team character and confidence,” he said. “It was good to get a goal.”
Dominic Calvert-Lewin missed an open goal with the score at 2-0 when he tried to chip past advancing goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga but put the ball wide.
Everton had Pickford to thank for keeping the scoreline to four after the keeper made sharp saves from Willian, Giroud and Barkley.
“Everything went wrong,” Ancelotti said. “We were not good enough defensively, too open defensively. With the ball We did a lot of mistakes on passes. It was not a good day.”
Lampard, who has delighted fans by bringing youth team players into the senior squad, felt able to give Premier League debuts to two more local teenaged players who joined the club as young children.
Attacking midfielder Faustino Anjorin came on for Willian and Armando Broja, born in Slough but who plays for Albania’s under-21 team, replaced Giroud for the last five minutes.
Midfielder Billy Gilmour, 18, also started the game after a fine performance in the team’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Everton’s neighbours Liverpool last Tuesday.
Lampard said the young players brought energy to the team but he needed to keep a balance and the senior players also performed on Sunday with motivation, speed and confidence. He singled out fine showings from Pedro, 32, and Giroud, 33.
“We need to keep our feet on the ground but today we saw really good stuff,” Lampard said.
“The whole attitude and focus of the team was strong today...the application of the team today was spot on.”
Reporting by Clare Lovell; Editing by Toby Davis