Everton’s hopes of qualifying for Europe took a massive hit this afternoon, after a calamitous 4-0 loss away to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The Toffees were second best from start to finish, as goals from Mount, Pedro, Willian and Giroud spearheaded the hosts to victory.

Carlo Ancelotti made three changes to his side on his return to Stamford Bridge, as Djibril Sidibe, Lucas Digne and Bernard came into the starting eleven.

Meanwhile, for Chelsea, both Kepa Arrizabalaga and Billy Gilmour kept their places after impressing in the midweek FA Cup win over Liverpool.

First Half

The first real chance of the game fell in favour of the home side. Neat play from both Olivier Giroud and Willian teed up Mason Mount to hit on the half volley, but a strong hand from Jordan Pickford in goal kept Mount at bay.

However, only moments later the youngster did find a way past Pickford. Pedro evaded Sidibe down the left hand side and fed Mount in the middle, who turned well and finished swiftly into the bottom corner, beating England’s number one at the near post.

Chelsea’s pressure continued as they searched for a quickfire double, as Pickford had to be on hand to deny Willian with his feet.

In the 21st minute Frank Lampard’s men did find their second, as a cute through ball from former toffee Ross Barkley picked out the run of Pedro, who made no mistake, slotting the ball home to put the hosts in control.

Against the run of play, Everton had a great chance to get one back when Richarlison robbed possession of Kurt Zouma, playing in Dominic Calvert-Lewin for a one and one opportunity. The in-form forward failed to take advantage however, fluffing his shot wide of the goal.

That proved to be the visitors only meaningful chance of the opening 45 minutes, as Chelsea enjoyed the majority of the possession for the remainder of the half.

Second Half

The hosts continued their dominance after the restart, and Willian added a third in the 50th minute to put the game beyond doubt. Pedro and Barkley linked up well before the latter fed the ball into the path of the Brazilian, who drilled the ball home from just outside the area.

The blues added insult to injury barely a minute after, Willian turning from goalscorer to provider this time. A short corner was played back to Willian, who whipped a delicious ball into the onrushing Olivier Giroud, and the Frenchman stuck out a foot to make it 4-0.

Everton struggled to conjure up any real chances in the second half, as Lampard opted to give some of his youngsters a run-out, handing Premier League debuts to both Tino Anjorin and Armando Broja.

The Blues saw out the closing stages keeping hold of the ball, as the humiliating performance and resulting loss will give Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti a lot to think about.

The result leaves Everton in 12th position, 11 points behind Chelsea, who now sit 5 points ahead of Wolves in 5th.

Ancelotti will be hoping for a much improved performance from his players in next week’s Merseyside Derby, as they hope to halt the Reds’ charge towards the title.

[Image from Richard Humphrey under CC Licence]