Premier League
Everton0Chelsea3

Everton 0-3 Chelsea

Pedro
Pedro has been involved in four of Chelsea's eight goals against Everton in the league this season

Premier League leaders Chelsea took a big step towards clinching the title as three second-half goals saw them overcome Everton at Goodison Park.

Pedro's 25-yard stunner, Gary Cahill's close-range finish and Willian's tap-in kept Antonio Conte's side four points clear of second-placed Tottenham, who beat Arsenal 2-0 later on Sunday.

It means the Blues could drop three points in their remaining four games and still claim a second title in three years, even if Spurs win all of their remaining fixtures.

Chelsea had to be patient, with Pedro's left-footed, long-range strike not coming until the 66th minute.

Cahill sealed the win when Maarten Stekelenburg parried Eden Hazard's free-kick onto the onrushing defender, before Willian slotted home from Cesc Fabregas' cutback.

Everton had started brightly in a game that opened at breakneck speed, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin going closest to scoring when he struck the post from a tight angle.

Manchester City's draw at Middlesbrough means Ronald Koeman's side, in seventh, are eight points adrift of the top four with three games left.

The day the title was won?

Chelsea's 2016-17 run-in
Mon, 8 MayMiddlesbrough (H)
Fri, 12 MayWest Brom (A)
Mon, 15 MayWatford (H)
Sun, 21 MaySunderland (H)
Sat, 27 MayArsenal (FA Cup final)

This may have been Tottenham's strongest hope of Chelsea surrendering points in their run-in, with Everton placed higher than any of their four remaining opponents, and three home games on the horizon for the Blues.

It could prove to be the killer blow to Spurs' spirited challenge, and seems to answer the question of whether Chelsea can handle the growing pressure applied by their London rivals' nine-game winning run in the league.

The maths are simple for Chelsea - win three more games and they will be Premier League champions for the sixth time.

And the celebrations from Conte and his players at the final whistle suggested the Blues feel they can get over the line in games against Middlesbrough, West Brom, Watford and Sunderland.

Add an FA Cup final win against Arsenal on 27 May and Conte would have had a remarkable first season in English football.

An opportunity missed for Everton

Gueye heatmap
Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye covered 9.57km during the game, but as his heat map shows, it was mainly in his own half as he man-marked Eden Hazard

Chelsea's hosts were lacking in creativity, but provided a stubborn and organised test that required the Blues to call on persistence and perseverance - attributes any title-winning side must have.

Results on Saturday mean Everton will not finish lower than seventh this season, securing a best finish in three years and a spot in next season's Europa League.

But Koeman's men faced the league leaders with an outside chance of still creeping into the top four and sneaking a Champions League spot.

It will therefore be even more frustrating that they failed to make inroads against Chelsea and capitalise on Manchester City dropping two points.

Calvert-Lewin's strike against the woodwork aside, there was little guile from the Toffees.

And any chance they had of getting back into the game was squandered by clumsy defending for Chelsea's second goal, with Idrissa Gueye weak in the wall and Stekelenburg failing to get a stronger hand to the cross.

Costa edges battle of the strikers

The game featured two of the Premier League's most prized poachers, with Everton's Romelu Lukaku and Chelsea's Diego Costa having scored 43 times between them this season.

Asked this week which of the two he would prefer in his side, Chelsea boss Conte unsurprisingly backed his man, claiming 28-year-old Costa was the best striker in the world.

The Spain international may be five goals shy of Lukaku's 24 in the league, but the weight of the Blues forward's goals have been far more hefty - Chelsea would be 15 points worse off this season without his tally of 19.

So there was understandable concern from the bench when Costa stayed down holding his leg in the first half after a strong, but fair, tackle from Tom Davies.

He was fine to continue and, while he was not presented with a host of chances, the former Atletico Madrid man was a consistent influence, being shown a yellow card for a tackle on Stekelenburg after tireless closing down and being involved in the build-up to the final goal.

Lukaku, who continues to be linked with a return to Chelsea - whom he left in 2014 for a £28m fee, was an energetic nuisance for the visiting defence but, aside from fizzing wide from 20 yards, looked unlikely to score for the first time in six appearances against his former club.

Man of the match - Cesar Azpilicueta

Azpilicueta
Chelsea ended a run of 11 league games without a clean sheet with this win, and Cesar Azpilicueta was at heart of it, making six interception and regaining possession 10 times

'It's important to celebrate' - what the managers said

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Chelsea forwards were the difference - Koeman

Everton boss Ronald Koeman on Sky Sports: "We did well, until 1-0 maybe. After that we had more problems but that was all about their quality, before that we played well and made it tough for them.

"Maybe we didn't create a lot of chances, but I was happy. Idrissa Gueye played a fantastic game, Hazard was not the player he can be because of the man-marking.

"It is really tough to beat Chelsea. They showed their belief and their quality. They will be champions. We need to find the motivation to finish the season strongly."

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Win down to head, then heart, then legs - Conte

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte speaking to Match of the Day: "I must be relaxed when we win but I think it is very important to celebrate this win with the players and fans.

"I think we must continue this way - to play game by game and take three points in every game. We know every win in this part of the season is very important.

"The road is long so we need to rest and prepare in the right way."

What's next?

Both sides come up against relegation-threatened clubs next, with Everton at Swansea on Saturday, 6 May and Chelsea hosting Middlesbrough on Monday, 8 May.

Chelsea reflecting title-winning season - the match stats

  • Chelsea have taken 81 points from 34 Premier League games this season; their most at this stage of a campaign since 2005-06 (85) when they won the title
  • Koeman's two heaviest league defeats in charge of Everton have both come against Chelsea this term (5-0 and 3-0)
  • The Toffees failed to score in a Premier League game at Goodison Park for the first time in 2017, having averaged 3.7 goals per game prior to this defeat
  • Chelsea kept their first clean sheet in the Premier League since January (v Hull), ending an 11-game run without one
  • Cahill has scored more Premier League goals against Everton than against any other opponent (four)

Line-ups

Everton

  • 22Stekelenburg
  • 30Holgate
  • 6Jagielka
  • 5Williams
  • 3Baines
  • 17GueyeBooked at 78mins
  • 26Davies
  • 19E ValenciaBooked at 58minsSubstituted forKonéat 72'minutes
  • 8Barkley
  • 29Calvert-LewinBooked at 38minsSubstituted forMirallasat 72'minutes
  • 10R Lukaku

Substitutes

  • 1Robles
  • 9Koné
  • 11Mirallas
  • 18Barry
  • 31Lookman
  • 38Pennington
  • 43Kenny

Chelsea

  • 13Courtois
  • 28AzpilicuetaBooked at 40mins
  • 30David LuizSubstituted forAkéat 82'minutes
  • 24CahillBooked at 35mins
  • 15Moses
  • 7Kanté
  • 21Matic
  • 3Alonso
  • 11PedroSubstituted forFàbregasat 82'minutes
  • 10HazardBooked at 75minsSubstituted forWillianat 85'minutes
  • 19Diego CostaBooked at 56mins

Substitutes

  • 1Begovic
  • 4Fàbregas
  • 5Zouma
  • 6Aké
  • 22Willian
  • 23Batshuayi
  • 29Chalobah
Referee:
Jonathan Moss
Attendance:
39,595

Match Stats

Home TeamEvertonAway TeamChelsea
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home12
Away11
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home2
Away4
Fouls
Home13
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Everton 0, Chelsea 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Everton 0, Chelsea 3.

Gary Cahill (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ross Barkley (Everton).

Goal!

Goal! Everton 0, Chelsea 3. Willian (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Cesc Fàbregas.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Willian replaces Eden Hazard.

Foul by Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea).

Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Cesc Fàbregas replaces Pedro.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Nathan Aké replaces David Luiz because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Foul by Pedro (Chelsea).

Ross Barkley (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! Everton 0, Chelsea 2. Gary Cahill (Chelsea) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal following a set piece situation.

Booking

Idrissa Gueye (Everton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Idrissa Gueye (Everton).

Attempt missed. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Booking

Eden Hazard (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Eden Hazard (Chelsea).

Ross Barkley (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match David Luiz (Chelsea) because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Everton. Arouna Koné replaces Enner Valencia.

Substitution

Substitution, Everton. Kevin Mirallas replaces Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Nemanja Matic (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Idrissa Gueye (Everton).

Foul by David Luiz (Chelsea).

Romelu Lukaku (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Everton 0, Chelsea 1. Pedro (Chelsea) left footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Nemanja Matic.

Victor Moses (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton).

Attempt saved. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ross Barkley.

Attempt saved. Enner Valencia (Everton) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Leighton Baines.

Booking

Enner Valencia (Everton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Victor Moses (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Enner Valencia (Everton).

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Marcos Alonso.

Attempt blocked. Enner Valencia (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Davies with a headed pass.

Booking

Diego Costa (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea34263572294381
2Tottenham34238371224977
3Liverpool34199670422866
4Man City34199665372866
5Man Utd341714351252665
6Arsenal33186964422260
7Everton351610960402058
8West Brom34128143943-444
9Southampton33118143944-541
10Bournemouth35118165063-1341
11Leicester34117164254-1240
12Stoke351010153750-1340
13Watford33117153754-1740
14Burnley35116183549-1439
15West Ham35109164459-1539
16Crystal Palace35115194656-1038
17Hull3597193667-3134
18Swansea3595214069-2932
19Middlesbrough35513172645-1928
20Sunderland3456232660-3421
View full Premier League table

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