Eden Hazard scored twice as a dominant Chelsea inflicted a 5-0 thrashing on Everton at Stamford Bridge to move to the top of the Premier League table.
The Blues recorded a fifth straight league victory — thanks to Hazard’s brace and goals from Marcos Alonso, Diego Costa and Pedro — and a fifth consecutive clean sheet to go a point clear of Manchester City, who conceded a last-minute equaliser to Middlesbrough earlier on Saturday.
Chelsea looked up for it from the off and found themselves in front in the 19th minute, with Hazard cutting in from the left before squeezing the ball past Maarten Stekelenburg with a low strike into the bottom corner.
And within just 70 seconds, Antonio Conte’s side were then two up as Pedro picked out Alonso in the box, who slotted the ball through the legs of Stekelenburg.
Chelsea had a chance to make it three when Alonso found Victor Moses unmarked at the far post, but the Nigeria international’s strike crashed back off the woodwork.
It was three just before half-time, however, with Costa getting in on the act, smashing the ball home for his ninth Premier League goal of the season after Nemanja Matic had flicked on a Hazard corner.
And Costa almost grabbed a second in first-half injury-time after latching onto a Pedro through ball, but the striker could only hit the side netting when finding himself in on goal.
Eleven minutes into the second half, Hazard made it four for Chelsea, racing onto a backheel from Pedro before cleverly despatching the ball into the bottom corner to bag his fifth league goal in four games.
A relentless Chelsea continued to pile the pressure on Everton and only a good save from Stekelenburg prevented Costa from adding another.
But Stekelenburg was helpless just a few minutes later when Pedro converted into an empty net for the fifth after the Dutchman had palmed Hazard’s strike into his path.
A dispirited Everton side had to wait until the 72nd minute before creating their first real chance of note, with substitute Kevin Mirallas sending a looping header from a corner just over, and that was as good as it got for them.
Chelsea continued to push for a sixth late on, but Stekelenburg was on hand to push a David Luiz strike over the bar.