It was a five-star performance in every sense as Chelsea thumped Everton to move to the top of the Premier League table, at least until tomorrow.
Two goals inside 30 seconds, the first of two for Eden Hazard and Marcos Alonso’s first goal for the club, all but ended this match as a contest and the question became, how many can Chelsea score?
The answer was five as Diego Costa, Hazard and Pedro added further goals for Antonio Conte’s side who totally dominated an Everton side that didn’t have a shot on target.
It’s now five straight league wins for Chelsea, who haven’t conceded a goal since the away game at Arsenal on 24 September, and Conte was delighted with his team’s display.
‘When you have this type of performance you are very happy, I’m pleased above all for my players,’ said the Italian. ‘It’s important to win but when you win in this way it’s great. It can improve our confidence and I’m very pleased tonight.
‘When you see every day the players’ commitment and work rate it’s important to have this type of performance. We can continue to work very hard and trust in our work.
‘We don’t want to send a message to other teams, we want to send one to ourselves. It’s important to be focused on our work. We want to improve and we are working a lot. This is the right way and the players are recognising that. Everton is now the past and after the international break we must start again in the same way we’ve left it today.
What was important was to win, play good football and bring our principles to the pitch. When you play five in a row and don’t concede you can be satisfied.
‘Everton changed their formation and system, they tried to find a solution where it was man to man in every zone of the pitch. Every coach uses a system with different ideas.
‘We have good players with great talent and we have to put them in the best situation to exploit their talent. There was a fantastic atmosphere with our supporters and we must continue to work together.’
All three attackers who started the game scored, but Conte was impressed with their overall effort
‘Eden Hazard is playing great football and showing his talent, but the most important thing I’m seeing is that he’s fantastic with the ball and also without the ball. Him, Diego and Pedro are working very hard for the team.’
One of the advantages that both Liverpool and Chelsea have over the other title contenders is that they don’t have any midweek European matches, something that Conte alluded to,
‘It’s important because we have more days to work. When you arrive at a new club you need time to work if you want to bring your methods, ideas and philosophies, but I’d prefer to play in the Champions League, it’s a great tournament and a team like Chelsea must play in it.’