Palmer Hits Four As Chelsea Hammer Sorry Everton  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 6 Everton 0

Cole PalmerCole Palmer hit a perfect first-half hat-trick and then struck a penalty as Chelsea hammered sorry Everton 6-0 on Monday Night Football to move to within three points of the European qualifying spots.

It was a sensational display from the 21-year-old, who made it back-to-back trebles at his home ground in style, with a silky opener followed by a poacher's second and a clinical lob with his weaker right foot after Jordan Pickford's gift of a pass to him.

It was the fastest Premier League hat-trick by a Chelsea player and means he's also scored in seven games in a row at this stadium - another Blues record. England assistant boss Steve Holland was watching on and the question will not be whether this young star goes to the Euros but where he starts in the England XI.

He certainly has the hunger for goals - Noni Madueke and Nicolas Jackson were squabbling over who would take the second-half spot-kick but Palmer marched in to take the ball and tuck away his 19th Premier League goal of the season. Jackson had to settle for his well-taken swivel and shot at the end of the first half.

That clash between the Chelsea players was an ugly one on an otherwise ideal night for Mauricio Pochettino's men, which was capped by homegrown starlet Alfie Gilchrist slamming in his first goal for the club in stoppage time. They now turn their focus to a potentially season-defining FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City on Saturday at Wembley

It was an all-too-familiar story for Everton, though, who spurned a glorious chance before they were undone at the other end. Beto's early volley over the bar from three yards out was flagged offside but that would surely have been overturned by VAR had it gone in. The Everton striker later had a header chalked off for straying beyond the backline.

While Chelsea are looking up and have West Ham, Manchester United and Newcastle within reach, Everton stay two places and two points above the drop zone. This was the first time a Sean Dyche side had conceded six in the Premier League and a nervy finish to the campaign awaits, with their appeal against their second points deduction lodged.

How it happened...

Everton were on for the double over Chelsea after beating them at Goodison in December but a record of 28 trips to this stadium without success in the league was a worrying omen and injury to Dominic Calvert-Lewin before they even set off for London added to their task.

They brought intensity early on, though, and worried a Chelsea backline which hadn't kept a clean sheet in nine. Beto's miss was a shocker - the offside call would have been overturned by VAR. And, not for the first time this season, Everton were made to pay for their wastefulness. But what an opener it was from Palmer.

Jarrad Branthwaite was nutmegged. There was a flick to Jackson. And then the return pass was beautifully curled into the bottom corner beyond Pickford's reach.

If that was stylish, his second was instinctive, pouncing on the loose ball after Pickford's parry from Jackson's shot to head in a second just five minutes after breaking the deadlock. Mykhailo Mudryk caused Everton major problems down the left in the build-up. Their problems came from Pickford for the third, though, with the 'keeper miscuing and giving the ball to Palmer to lift in his third of the night with his right.

For all their issues at the other end, Everton were still able to trouble Chelsea's defence, with James Tarkowski blasting through the six-yard box after Beto had seen his header scrubbed off. But Jackson's sharp work all-but ended the contest by half-time. Palmer, of course, was involved again, releasing Marc Cucurella for the assist.

There was a triple change at the break from Everton, with both central midfielders James Garner and Amadou Onana hauled off, but Chelsea kept on finding space, with Mudryk running into acres before playing Palmer in for what should have been his fourth - Pickford sticking out a leg to save the one-on-one - before sub Nathan Patterson almost bundled another push out from the goalkeeper into his own goal.

Palmer wasn't to be denied, though. Abdoulaye Doucoure trod on his heel in the box moments before Tarkowski took out Madueke. It was later indicated the penalty was given for the first challenge - if it had been for the second Tarkowski may well have received a second yellow.

While Madueke and Jackson argued over who would take it - with Thiago Silva and then Conor Gallagher stepping in to try to calm the situation - Palmer barged his way in to convert.

He'd go off to a standing ovation with 10 minutes to go but the Chelsea fans finished the game singing the name of 20-year-old academy graduate Gilchrist, who latched onto another helpful parry from Pickford for an emotional strike. It's on to Wembley now - and Chelsea go there with a spring in their step.

What's next?

Chelsea face Manchester City at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday April 20. Kick-off 5.15pm Their next Premier League match is at London rivals Arsenal on Tuesday April 23. Kick-off 8pm.

Everton's next four Premier League matches are live on Sky Sports. They host relegation rivals Nottingham Forest on Sunday April 21, kick-off 1.30pm, before Liverpool visit on Wednesday April 24, kick-off 8pm. Everton then face Brentford and Luton.

Click Here for Official Teamsheet


Chelsea Petrovic; Gusto (Gilchrist 89), Chalobah, Silva, Cucurella; Caicedo, Gallagher; Mudryk (Chilwell 80), Palmer (Casadei 80), Madueke (Chukwuemeka 72); Jackson (Washington 89)
Subs Not Used Bettinelli, Badiashile, Dyer, George
Booked Mudryk
Goals Palmer 13, 18, 29, 64 (pen), Jackson 44, Gilchrist 90

Everton Pickford, Mykolenko, Branthwaite (Keane 57), Tarkowski, Coleman (c) (Patterson 46), McNeil, Onana (Gomes 46), Garner (Harrison 46), Young, Doucoure, Beto
Subs Not Used Virginia, Godfrey, Danjuma, Warrington, Chermiti
Booked Garner, Young, Tarkowski

Attendance 39,392

Referee Paul Tierney

VAR Michael Salisbury