Chelsea strengthen grip on title with Pedro stunner
Premier League, Goodison Park - Everton 0 Chelsea 3 (Pedro 66', Cahill 79', Willian 87')
A stunning strike from Pedro and late goals from Gary Cahill and Willian gave Chelsea a 3-0 win at Everton and strengthened their grip on the title.
Everton should have gone ahead as early as the second minute, Dominic Calvert-Lewin clattering a shot against the inside of the post as Lukaku lost his footing with the goal gaping.
After Eden Hazard and Diego Costa squandered marvellous chances to put the visitors ahead before the break, it looked like it may not be Chelsea's day. But Pedro turned the game in his side's favour when he swivelled on the edge of the area and sent an unstoppable shot into the top corner with his left foot.
Cahill added the second when Hazard's free-kick was saved by Maarten Stekelenburg before substitute Willian fired into the empty net after being teed up by Willian.
The result moves Chelsea temporarily seven points clear before Tottenham Hotspur face Arsenal in the North London derby. Victory also ensured Chelsea are guaranteed of the Champions League group stage next season.
There can be only one. Pedro’s wonderful strike may well have settled the title in Chelsea’s favour when they looked to be running out of ideas.
Chelsea's Spanish midfielder Pedro (R) scores the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on April 30, 2017.Getty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH
Pedro (Chelsea) The Spaniard hasn’t been starting every game but it was his moment of magic that turned the game on its head with a stunning strike into the top corner. Honourable mention to Gary Cahill who kept Lukaku quiet and weighed in with yet another goal of his own.
Chelsea's Spanish midfielder Pedro celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on April 30, 2017.Getty Images
2’ - POST! A wonderful pass from Jagielka and Calvert-Lewin clatters his shot against the post!
11’ - SIDE NETTING! Costa plays in Hazard, who rounds the keeper but finds the side netting from a tight angle. He would expect to score on current form.
25’ - COSTA SHOULD SCORE! A long ball is played from Luiz straight to Costa in the box. He controls brilliantly on his head but then lashes over the bar from a few yards out.
66’ – GOAL! Everton 0-1 Chelsea: It’s an absolute stunner from Pedro. A torpedo into the top corner. What a strike just when Chelsea were looking frustrated.
79’ - GOAL! Everton 0-2 Chelsea: It’s the goal scoring machine Gary Cahill who bundles in Hazard’s free kick after it flicks off Gueye and into his path. Didn’t know too much about it.
Gary Cahill (Chelsea)Getty Images
86’ - GOAL! Everton 0-3 Chelsea: The substitutes combine. Fabregas breaks down the left and cuts back to lay it on a plate for Willian to slot home.
Chelsea halt their run of conceding a goal in 11 consecutive PL fixtures, keeping their first clean sheet since the 2-0 home win against Hull City on 22 January.
Chelsea won their PL fixture at Goodison Park in two of the previous four seasons they became champions (D1-L1), 1-0 in 2004/05 and 6-3 in 2014/15.
Gary Cahill scores his 27th PL goal. Cahill has scored more PL goals against Everton (4) than against any other opponent (3 against West Ham).
Pedro scored his 16th PL goal for Chelsea and his fourth from outside the box. Since Pedro's debut for the Blues, only Willian also scored four PL goals for Chelsea from outside the penalty area.