CARLO ANCELOTTI waited nine years to return to Chelsea – and he won’t be hurrying back.
Everton were dismantled in the same way he used to steamroller visitors to Stamford Bridge when he won The Double as Chelsea boss in 2010.
The boot was firmly on the other foot as modern-day Chelsea romped to their biggest Premier League home win of the season on an unstoppable blend of youth and experience.
Goals from rookie Mason Mount set the ball rolling for old-stagers Pedro, Willian and Olivier Giroud to follow up and rout an Everton team put firmly in its place after a revival under Ancelotti.
Were it not for the athleticism of Everton keeper Jordan Pickford it would have been even more – such was the home side’s domination.
No wonder Ancelotti, still a popular figure among Chelsea’s fans who remember his two years in charge, declined to respond when the home crowd started to sing his name in the second-half.
Trailing 4-0 and witnessing the destruction of his team’s new-found confidence since taking over in December, it appeared to be sung more out of sympathy because Everton had long since folded.
From the 14th minute when Mount put Chelsea ahead with a classy finish, Ancelotti’s team was second best by a long way.
He was treated to a big bear-hug from Chelsea head coach Lampard before kick off but was then well and truly winded by a sucker punch from his own players as they failed to mount a credible threat.
Mount’s goal in particular – his sixth in his debut top-flight season – confirmed Chelsea are playing with confidence again after a mini-blip.
The 21-year-old midfielder started the move he would ultimately finish, bursting forwards from midfield and sliding the ball wide to Pedro.
The veteran Spaniard returned the pass with Mount’s back to goal. From there the one-time Chelsea academy player took the ball on his left foot, swivelled 180 degrees and let rip with his right from the edge of the box.
And eight days after being lucky to get out of Bournemouth with a point, Chelsea turned on the style and gave their push for a top four finish a huge boost with little opposition.
Teenage midfielder Billy Gilmour responded to being handed his first Premier League start with impressive maturity and skill.
Experienced wingers Willian and Pedro ran the flanks, while ex-Everton star Ross Barkley answered the jeers from the away fans with a tenacious performance.
After 21 minutes it was 2-0 and game over. Gilmour, who enjoyed a Man of the Match award in the FA Cup against Liverpool on Tuesday, collected the ball in midfield, turned to find space and rolled the ball forwards to Giroud.
The Frenchman found Barkley who in turn fed Pedro running free towards goal and Chelsea’s vastly experienced forward picked his spot perfectly to Pickford’s left.
Even when Chelsea took their eye off the ball and made a mistake, and there still quite a few, luck was on their side as Everton were shockingly below par.
Kurt Zouma lost possession to Richarlison on the halfway line but with two-on-one, the Brazilian and strike partner Dominic Calvert-Lewin managed to cock it up and miss the target with the goal begging.
Six minutes into the second-half, Willian got the third as Everton wilted.
Taking a pass from Barkley he showed composure to drill a shot to Pickford’s right this time.
And on 54 minutes Giroud sneaked ahead of Everton’s droopy defence to toe poke home a Willian cross from six yards.
As well as revitalising a Chelsea team which has struggled to find a killer instinct in recent league games anyway, victory completed a Merseyside revenge mission for Lampard.
This drubbing of Everton is the perfect response to the way Chelsea were overwhelmed at Goodison Park in December as Ancelotti waited in the wings to take over from axed Marco Silva.
And it comes five days after Lampard finally got one over on Liverpool by knocking them out of the FA Cup to make up for Premier League and Super Cup defeats earlier in the season.
Chelsea sat five points clear in fourth spot, ahead of the Manchester derby, despite also having several key first-teamers sidelined with injuries.
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