Sunday, April 30, 2017 10:22 pm
English Premier League leaders Chelsea moved closer towards clinching the title on Sunday with three second half goals for a 3-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park.
Pedro opened scores with a 25-yard stunner before Gary Cahill’s close-range finish extended the lead, while Willian’s tap-in took the match beyond the hosts.
The win moved Antonio Conte’s side seven points clear of second-placed Tottenham, who faced Arsenal later on Sunday.
It means the Blues could drop three points in their remaining four games and still claim a second title in three years, even if Spurs win all of their remaining fixtures.
Before then, Chelsea had to be patient, with Pedro’s left-footed, long-range strike not coming until the 66th minute.
Cahill sealed the win when Maarten Stekelenburg parried Eden Hazard’s free-kick onto the onrushing defender, before Willian slotted home from Cesc Fabregas’ cutback.
Everton had started brightly in a game that opened at breakneck speed, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin going closest to scoring when he struck the post from a tight angle.
Manchester City’s draw at Middlesbrough means Ronald Koeman’s side, in seventh, are eight points adrift of the top four with three games left.
This may have been Tottenham’s strongest hope of Chelsea surrendering points in their run-in.
Everton are placed higher than any of their four remaining opponents, and three home games on the horizon for the Blues.
It could prove to be the killer blow to Spurs’ spirited challenge.
This seems to answer the question of whether Chelsea can handle the growing pressure applied by their London rivals’ eight-game winning run in the league.
The maths are simple for Chelsea — win three more games and they will be Premier League champions for the sixth time.
And the celebrations from Conte and his players at the final whistle suggested the Blues feel they can get over the line in games against Middlesbrough, West Brom, Watford and Sunderland.
If they add an FA Cup final win against Arsenal on May 27, Conte would have had a remarkable first season in English football.