Black Day For Everton  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 4 Everton 1

Eidur Gudjohnsen and Jimmy Hasselbaink
Gudjohnsen rushes to celebrate with Hasselbaink
Chelsea 4-1 Everton
Gudjohnsen 25
Hasselbaink 48
Gronkjaer 62
Zola 90
  Carsley 77
Premiership, April 21

Charlie McFaulds reports

Chelsea moved up to third in the Premiership after goals from Eidur Gudjohnsen, Jimmy Hasselbaink, Jesper Gronkjaer, and Gianfranco Zolo eased them past Everton.

The result appears comfortable for the West London club, but Everton showed a lot of spirit to remind everyone here at Stamford Bridge how far they have come since David Moyes arrived at the club just over a year ago.

Both sides were keen to shake off the disappointments of weekend defeats and the game started brightly with the two teams looking sharp.

Chelsea began to pose more a threat though and Gudjohnsen was particularly lively around the Everton penalty area.

But clear-cut chances were as rare as sightings of Saddam Hussein and the first effort of note came when Joseph Yobo's headed clearance went to Gudjohnsen, who took the ball on his chest before hitting his volley over the bar.

However, two minutes later the home side took the lead. Hasselbaink picked the ball up 10 yards inside the Toffees half and burst forward, quickly delivering an angled pass into the box.

David Weir slipped as the cross was delivered and Gudjohnsen took the ball in his stride before lashing a half-volley into the corner of the net from 12 yards.

Mario Melchiot and Enrique De Lucas combined nine minutes later to supply Hasselbaink, but the angle was too tight for the big striker and he crashed his shot into the side netting.

The Merseysiders were showing plenty of spirit though and Kevin Campbell was leading their attack very well, with Scott Gemmill providing the craft for midfield.

Eidur Gudjohnsen
Gudjohnsen: lively

And it was good work from Gemmill that provided Everton's best chance of the half after 43 minutes when his quick thinking caught Chelsea out, and it too a last-gasp interception from Carlo Cudicini to deny Gary Neysmith eight yards out.

Chelsea made a terrific start to the second half and increased their lead within three minutes of the restart.

Gronkjaer burst down left flank and sent over a great cross for Hasselbaink to finish was some style from 10 yards - his diving header eluding Richard Wright at his far post.

The Blues sealed the points on 62 minutes when John Terry punted a free-kick some 50 yards up the pitch and Gronkjaer stole in behind the Everton rearguard to show great composure before slipping the ball past the advancing Wright.

The lead was harsh on Everton, but they were rewarded on 77 minutes for their graft when a lengthy passing move ended with Gemmill's clever pass finding Lee Carsley just inside the Blues box and he displayed wonderful poise to bury the ball in the bottom corner.

Carsley almost repeated the trick five minutes from time when he drifted in behind the Chelsea defence to meet a Thomas Gravesen through pass, but his volley was inches past the target.

Substitute Zola set the seal on the victory with the last kick of the ball latching onto another 50 yard pass and superbly chipping Wright from the edge of the box. The Blues are now third in the race for the Champions League places.

Man-Of-The-Match: Jesper Gronkjaer (Chelsea)
His start to the second half of the match was fantastic and in the end helped to make the scoreline more comfortable that it really should have been over the 90 minutes.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Melchiot, Desailly, Terry, Gallas, Gronkjaer (Le Saux 87), Petit, Lampard, De Lucas, Gudjohnsen (Cole 84), Hasselbaink (Zola 81).
Subs Not Used: de Goey, Stanic.
Booked: De Lucas.

Everton: Wright, Yobo (Gravesen 52), Weir, Stubbs, Unsworth (Hibbert 52), Naysmith, Gemmill, Li Tie (Ferguson 78), Carsley, Campbell, Rooney.
Subs Not Used: Gerrard, Alexandersson.
Booked: Gravesen.

Att: 40,875
Ref: M Riley (W Yorkshire).

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