Carlo Ancelotti likely could not have dreamt of a worse return to Stamford Bridge as he watched his Everton side brushed aside by a dominant Chelsea team keen to show off their attacking prowess.
Boosted by boss Frank Lampard’s decision to introduce 18-year-old Billy Gilmour for his full Premier League debut, Chelsea had a greater tempo than their Merseyside opponents from the very first minute and took just 14 minutes to take advantage of their superiority.
Another young talent in the Chelsea roster, Mason Mount, was on hand to convert the opening goal for the Blues, in the process ending his 18-match goal drought as he fired past Jordan Pickford at the near post.
Pedro then quickly doubled Chelsea’s advantage on the scoresheet when he latched on to a superb through ball by Ross Barkley to net his first league goal of the season after 21 minutes on the clock.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin had an opportunity shortly after to pull one back for Everton and potentially kickstart a comeback, but with only Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga to beat Everton’s top goalscorer managed to fluff his lines.
From that moment onwards, Lampard’s men took complete control of the contest and never again looked in danger of giving up the result. Pushing on towards the half time whistle, Chelsea bossed the ball around, particularly in the centre of the park where young Gilmour, in the side in place of the suspended Jorginho, looked completely assured and confident despite his tender age and limited first team experience to date.
After the interval, the game carried on much the same, as the Blues came out at breakneck speed and blitzed their Mersey opponents with a quickfire double.
First, Willian found the bottom corner with a driven low shot in the 51st minute, before French forward Olivier Giroud soon added a fourth and rounded off the scoring three minutes later when he tapped in from a short corner, continuing his goalscoring renaissance.
Since Ancelotti took charge on Boxing Day, Everton have looked in form and thoroughly dismissed their early season slump, so the nature and degree of the defeat at Stamford Bridge will have been particularly disappointing for the experienced Italian boss on his return to his former club, where he won the league and FA Cup double during the 2009/10 season.
Defeat leaves Everton remaining in their 12th place spot, solidly mid-table sitting six points of Nuno Espirito Santo’s fifth-placed Wolves side and 10 points clear of the relegation zone battle.
Lampard’s Chelsea meanwhile remain in fourth spot after the victory but it closed the gap on Leicester to just two points as they race after Brendan Rodgers’ men, whilst moving the lead over Wolves to five points.