Premier League leaders Chelsea took another step towards the title in a 3-0 victory over Everton.
Pedro’s stunner, Gary Cahill’s short range finish and Willian’s simple tap-in kept the blues 4 points clear of Tottenham Hotspur in 2nd place.
Chelsea played very patiently in the game and was held out until the 66th minute and the deadlock was broken with a stunning 25 yard strike from Pedro
Cahill put Chelsea 2 up when Eden Hazard’s free-kick was parried by Maarten Stekelenburg onto the running centre back Gary Cahill, before Willian sealed the win with a neat cutback from Cesc Fabregas.
Everton had a positive start that opened with a high tempo; Dominic Calvert-Lewin went close when he struck the post. Everton remain 7th and are 8 points off the top 4 with 3 games remaining in the Premier League season.
Has this guaranteed the title for Chelsea? This match was seen as the biggest bump in the road if the blues are to claim the Premier League title and this was dealt with very effectively. This match could be seen as the killer of Spurs’ title hopes, all Chelsea need to do is win 3 out of the 4 remaining Premier League games and then they’ll be champions, 3 of these games will be played at Stamford Bridge.
The celebrations at full time made it clear how important this win was. After the match Antonio Conte said, “I must be relaxed when we win but I think it’s very important to celebrate this win with the players and fans”, it’s obvious the club knows this could be one of the most important wins of the season.
How disappointed will Everton be? Everton lacked creativity throughout the game, but were an organised unit, Chelsea were tested but managed to surpass this organised unit in a champions like manner. Results on the Saturday mean Everton have secured European Football next year, but the toffees have missed a chance to just sneak a top 4 spot. Ronald Koeman had a varied view on the game, “Maybe we didn’t create a lot of chances, but I was happy. Idrissa Gana Gueye played a fantastic game; Eden Hazard wasn’t the player he can be because of the man-marking.”
MOTM – Cesar Azpilicueta, The defender helped Chelsea end a drought of 11 Premier League games without a clean sheet. He made 6 interceptions and managed to regain possession 10 times.
What’s next? Both teams face clubs threatened with relegation, Everton face Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday 6th May, Chelsea host Middlesbrough on Monday 8th May.