Kurt Zouma

Chelsea smash sorry Everton

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Chelsea battered Everton 4-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday to cement their spot in the top four of the Premier League table.

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Frank Lampard‘s side were rampant from start to finish as Mason Mount, Pedro, Willian and Olivier Giroud all scored and in truth the 4-0 scoreline flattered an extremely lackluster Everton side as Carlo Ancelotti did not enjoy his return to Chelsea.

With the win, their biggest in the Premier League under Lampard, Chelsea opened up a five-point gap to fifth-place Wolves and are now just two points off Leicester who are in third place. Everton are in 12th place on 37 points.


3 things we learned

1. Chelsea’s defensive work ethic the difference: Buoyed by their midweek FA Cup win against Liverpool, Chelsea were flying from the start and never let up. Going forward they ripped Everton apart but one of the most impressive things about this display was how hard they worked to win the ball back. Injuries have hit them hard but the so-called ‘second string’ players performed well and their hunger and desire to make the most of slip ups by Wolves and Spurs this weekend spurred them on to cement their place in the top four. Champions League qualification for this young side under Lampard would be a fine season, especially after their considerable slump over the last few months.

2. Giroud, Gilmour make everything tick: Billy Gilmour was starting his first Premier League game and is 18 years old. It looked like it was his 200th PL game and he was 30. The “Irn-Bru Iniesta” has taken his chance with Kovacic injured and Jorginho suspended and he has shown Lampard he can do it in back-to-back games against Liverpool and Everton. As for Giroud, well, he scored and was influential in the attacking unit as his hold-up play knitted the attack together. Without so many first-choice players, Gilmour and Giroud made sure everything went very smoothly for Chelsea.

3. Everton shambolic: Chelsea were very good but Everton were woeful. Carlo Ancelotti had a face like thunder on the sidelines throughout as the Toffees stood off Chelsea, gave them too much respect and didn’t deserve anything. They are still in the battle for the Europa League spots but any faint hopes they had of pushing themselves into the Champions League places are now gone. This was a reality check for Everton who weren’t nasty enough to disrupt Chelsea’s rhythm.

Man of the Match: Billy Gilmour – The Scottish midfielder had the most touches on the pitch and look so calm and assured in possession. A star in the making. Willian also played extremely well but Gilmour gets the nod.


Chelsea came flying out of the traps and Mount fired a superb volley just wide as Everton couldn’t handle the pace of the Blues attack.

Moments later Mount scored a fine goal as he controlled, turned and finish all in one motion to send Stamford Bridge wild as the 21-year-old scored his first goal since Dec. 4.

Wave after wave of Chelsea attack then arrived as Willian was set free but his low drive was denied by Jordan Pickford but Everton didn’t learn their lesson.

Giroud held up the ball and played it back to Barkley who sent a perfect through ball to Pedro who was clean through and finished with ease to give Chelsea a deserved 2-0 lead.

Moments later Everton were almost gifted a way back into the game as Kurt Zouma was caught in possession by Richarlison who teed up Calvert-Lewin but the in-form striker clipped the ball wide of the post as a great chance came and went for the Toffees.

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The same pattern continued in the second half as Willian drilled home a low shot from distance after being given too much space from the Everton defense.

Pedro then had a shot deflected just over as Chelsea poured forward time and time again and from that resulting corner they made it 4-0 as Giroud flicked home at the back post.

Pickford then denied Pedro a second goal of the game with a fine stop as Everton were stunned and Chelsea eased to an extremely important victory.

Watch Live: Chelsea v. Everton

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Chelsea host Everton at Stamford Bridge on Sunday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as both teams are desperate to seal European qualification this season.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE

Frank Lampard was managed by Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea as the Italian coach won a Premier League title and an FA Cup at Stamford Bridge and there is plenty of respect for him from the Blues faithful.

The job Ancelotti has done since he arrived at Everton in December deserves plenty of respect too as he’s lost just twice in 10 Premier League games and the Toffees have surged up the table and away from the relegation zone and into European contention.

Heading into this game just eight points separate the teams as Chelsea sit in fourth place and Everton are in 12th but can jump into the top 10 with a win.

In team news Chelsea make six changes from the team which drew at Bournemouth last weekend as Kepa Arrizabalaga returns in goal after playing well in the FA Cup win over Liverpool, while Billy Gilmour, Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma, Willian and Ross Barkley all start.

Everton make three changes from the team which drew against Man United last week as Lucas Digne, Djibril Sidibe and Bernard come in for Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman and Theo Walcott.

LINEUPS

Mason Holgate signs new five-year deal with Everton

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23-year-old Everton defender Mason Holgate has signed a new five-year deal that will keep him under team control through the summer of 2025, the club announced on Tuesday.

After riding the bench for the first nine Premier League games of the season, Holgate took over for Michael Keane and has started all but one of the 19 league games since.

“This is my fifth year at Everton and my development as a person and a player in that period has been massive,” Holgate told the official club release. “The direction the Club is going, it is a great Club to be at and I am really excited about it. We want to move to the next step and push for bigger and better things. I want to win things – and winning some silverware is where I see us. It is definitely a positive time to be here and I am looking forward to seeing how far we can go.”

Arriving at Everton from Barnsley in the summer of 2015 for just under $2 million, Holgate has risen through the Everton ranks, making his Premier League debut in August of 2016 to begin what would be a breakout campaign where he would register 18 league appearances. He made 15 appearances the next season before falling out of the squad thanks to the arrival of loanee Kurt Zouma. He was eventually loaned out to West Brom in January of 2019 to get playing time, and has returned with a renewed importance.

Holgate has drawn outside interest in the transfer market, with The Athletic reporting back in January that talks for an extension were taking place but both Wolves and Sheffield United were circling, and reports elsewhere have indicated even Manchester City has taken note. An appealing part of Holgate’s game is his positional flexibility that allows him to play at left-back, right-back, or defensive midfield despite seeming most comfortable at his natural center-back slot.

FOLLOW LIVE: Chelsea v. Liverpool in FA Cup plus Sheffield United, Newcastle in play

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Chelsea hosts Liverpool in a high-powered FA Cup fifth round matchup with kickoff set for 2:45 p.m. ET, while Sheffield United and Newcastle United both have visits to Championship grounds at 3:00 p.m. ET.

The Reds are coming off their first loss of the Premier League season, a shocking 3-0 drubbing at the hands of relegation-threatened Watford. Liverpool was battered up and down the field, and in response, Jurgen Klopp has selected a strong side for the FA Cup match. With the Premier League still almost certainly in their grasp, Liverpool has decided to go heavy handed in the Cup competitions. The only replacements are Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi up front, while Niko Williams stands in for Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back.

[ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores here ]

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard brings a strong lineup to the field, with injury fears the only force causing changes. Christian Pulisic remains out as do Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi, so Willian and Pedro continue on the flanks with Olivier Giroud in the middle of the attack. Kurt Zouma is selected in central defense over Fikayo Tomori, while Billy Gilmour sees minutes in midfield with Jorginho on the bench.

Sheffield United will visit Reading riding a three-match league unbeaten streak. Reading sits 16th in the Championship table, with three losses in its last five in league play.

Unlike Sheffield, Newcastle comes into Cup action in poor league form, without a win since mid-January. The Magpies meet Championship leaders West Brom at the Hawthornes, who lost 1-0 to Wigan last time out in league play, a defeat that stopped a stellar six-match unbeaten run that featured five wins and a 13-3 goal differential.

LINEUPS:

Chelsea – Kepa; Alonso, Rudiger, Zouma, Azpilicueta; Barkley, Kovacic, Gilmour; Willian, Giroud, Pedro.

Liverpool – Adrian; Williams, Van Dijk, Gomez, Robertson; Fabinho, Lallana, Jones; Minamino, Origi, Mane.

Player ratings from Chelsea 0-2 Manchester United

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Manchester United defeated Chelsea 2-0 on Monday at Stamford Bridge, moving the Red Devils to within three points of their fourth-place hosts.

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Who were the stars and the duds? Read on…

Chelsea

Willy Caballero — 6 — Just one save on the day.

Reece James — 5 — A miserable in 50/50s for a promising player.

Antonio Rudiger — 6 — Lost Maguire on United’s second goal but was otherwise strong

Andreas Christensen — 6.5 — Strong and fought through a bloodied nose before succumbing to the injury at halftime, but couldn’t stop Martial from making it 1-0.

Cesar Azpilicueta — 6 — Okay day, but rightly or wrongly his shove cost Chelsea a goal (Probably wrongly).

Mateo Kovacic — 8 — He was everywhere. According to Sofascore, Kovacic had over 100 touches, 87 percent passing, two key passes, four of five dribbles and 8-of-14 in duels to go with an interception, three clearances, and three tackles.

Jorginho — 8 — Exceptional. Nailed eight of his nine long balls and passed at 94 percent. A maestro.

N’Golo Kante — N/A — Only a dozen minutes before his injury-riddled season met February head-on.

Willian — 7 — Couldn’t get Chelsea on the board, so we shouldn’t praise him too much, but the Brazilian doesn’t get enough love for his willingness and adeptness in tackling.

Pedro — 7 — Three key passes highlight an active day.

Michy Batshuayi — 5 — Couldn’t finish some prime chances, and caught an unpunished boot to the groin. Insult meet injury. Zero shots on target.

Subs

Mason Mount — 6 — Nearly had an assist if not for Olivier Giroud‘s offside toes.

Kurt Zouma — 7 — Came off the bench to score, though it was pulled off the board by VAR. Won six of seven duels, and was steady at the back.

Olivier Giroud — 6 — Nearly had a goal if not for his toes and the timing of a freeze frame.


Manchester United

David De Gea — 6 — Hardly-tested, but did have one fine save.

Luke Shaw — 6 — Not bad.

Harry Maguire — 8 — How do you rate a man who should’ve been sent off but was otherwise a beast and scored a terrific insurance goal? I guess we’re saying you rate him as if he wasn’t sent off, which he wasn’t.

Eric Bailly — 7 — One really poor moment early, but rebounded and showed terrific skill in recovery, tackling, and even moving the ball forward via dribble.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka — 8 — He may end up being the best signing of the summer (Sorry Harry). Terrific assist, four clearances, three blocked shots, two interceptions, and a tackle.

Brandon Williams — 7 — Steadier than his 19 years would have you imagine.

Nemanja Matic — 7 — Busy in the middle, albeit quieter than usual.

Fred — 7 — Got away with one thanks to VAR.

Bruno Fernandes — 7 — Continued to flash his supreme talent, though the end product eluded him.

Daniel James — 5 — Looked busy, but not productive.

Anthony Martial — 7 — Terrific header on the goal, and was industrious in trying to produce. more.

Subs

Andreas Pereira — N/A

Odion Ighalo — N/A

Diogo Dalot — N/A