Premier League: Chelsea wallop Everton 5 – 0

Eden Hazard scored twice as Chelsea climbed to the top of the Premier League for the first time since August with a stylish victory over Everton.

Hazard put Chelsea ahead with a low, angled shot, before Marcos Alonso added a second when he slotted through Maarten Stekelenburg’s legs.

Diego Costa made it 3-0 just before half-time, and Hazard scored the pick of the goals after the break.

Pedro put the gloss on the result when he tapped into an empty net.

Everton spent the majority of the game penned in their own half and did not manage a shot on target in the entire 90 minutes as Chelsea produced a ruthless and dominant performance.

Many of the visiting supporters left Stamford Bridge well before the final whistle. Those that remained applauded Chelsea off the pitch, with the biggest ovation of all from the home fans reserved for Hazard, who capped a brilliant display with two superb goals.

Chelsea system stands up to scrutiny

In an attempt to stifle the 3-4-3 system that had earned Antonio Conte’s side four consecutive Premier League wins before this match, Everton manager Ronald Koeman reverted to three men at the back.

However, the tactical ploy proved ineffective as the Dutchman’s side were outpassed and outclassed by Conte’s men in a mesmerising first-half display.

Confidence has been high among Chelsea’s players since their 4-0 demolition of Manchester United last month, and the swagger with which they dismantled Everton will only further fuel talk of a title challenge.

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In the five games since the formation change, Conte’s side have scored 16 goals and conceded none.

Chelsea look a completely different team from the sluggish outfit that struggled under Jose Mourinho last season, and this performance was a real statement of intent.

Frustrated Lukaku draws a blank

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku would have been desperate to impress against former club Chelsea, but the Belgium international was a subdued presence.

Luakaku, who joined Everton from Chelsea for a club record £28m in July 2014, was barely able to get on the ball in the final third as Chelsea dominated.

Despite being paired with Yannick Bolasie, he was deprived of service, and spent large parts of the game chasing lost causes.

The 23-year-old has now played five Premier League matches for the Toffees against his former club, but is yet to score.
Hazard back to his brilliant best

If Lukaku endured a frustrating game, the opposite was true for compatriot Hazard, who has rediscovered his joie de vivre and scored for a fourth consecutive league game.

Chelsea striker Diego Costa may have had a hand in more goals than any other Premier League player, with nine goals and three assists, but it is Hazard who has supporters on their feet whenever he is on the ball.

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The effortless manner with which he glided past the dazed yellow shirts of Everton’s defence for his two goals was breathtaking.

Conte claimed the 25-year-old forward is on the right track to becoming one of the world’s best players, and on this evidence that is no exaggeration.

BBC Match Of The Day pundit Ian Wright said: “Eden Hazard was world class against Everton. I think Ronald Koeman picked the wrong day to pick three at the back.”

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