Chelsea Storms To 5-0 Win Over Everton: Five Key Talking Points

Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard at Stamford Bridge, London, November 5. BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty

The Shed End had waited 17 months for this moment, a lot longer than they had anticipated.

As Marcos Alonso ran onto Pedro's cross, driving the ball through the legs of Maarten Stekelenburg for his first goal since joining Chelsea in the summer, the fans behind the hoardings broke into chant.

"We're top of the league, we're top of the league, we're top of the league," they sung, having seen Pep Guardiola's Manchester City concede a late equaliser to Middlesbrough earlier in the day.

Chelsea went on to add three more to the scoreline within an hour at Stamford Bridge, coming through Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Pedro, seeing it's record in the past five Premier League games reach 16 goals without reply. Antonio Conte, the home manager, whose name was sung throughout the evening, has seen his 3-4-3 formation provide all the answers to Chelsea's problems.

Both Arsenal and Liverpool, yet to play this weekend, are capable of leapfrogging Conte's team. But, in what looks likely to be the closest title race in years, Chelsea continues to prove that it will be ready for the photo-finish. Here, Newsweek looks at what else we learned:

Fireworks Kick-off Fast Start For Chelsea

Prior to kick-off, the lights at Stamford Bridge fell dark as the big screen in the corner of the stadium lit up. Chelsea defender Gary Cahill appeared with a match in hand, to the tune of "Mission Impossible," and lit the fuse to the fireworks that exploded into the night sky in west London.

It set the tone once again for Conte's team. In the past three Premier League games Chelsea has taken the lead in each game within seven minutes. On Saturday, the hosts had to wait until the 19th minute to take the lead but, within 25 seconds of the restart, Chelsea was two-ahead and heading to the top of the league.

Conte's grueling pre-season has put Chelsea in great condition heading into the new season, and, combined with his new formation, teams have struggled to combat the Italian's tactics.

The New Diego Costa

In the eighth minute, Diego Costa picked up the ball and ran at the Everton defense. Seamus Coleman could only stop the Spaniard with a lunging challenge that left blood seeping through Costa's white socks, where the Irishman's studs had connected.

"Rattle the beast," may have been Ronald Koeman's message to his team, for the whole of the Premier League has seen the temperament of Chelsea's talisman over the past two seasons. But this is a new Costa; a mellow, focused Costa.

He limped back onto the pitch to score Chelsea's third and his ninth goal in 11 Premier League games. He is back to his indomitable best but without the dark side.

Unplayable Eden Hazard

Is Chelsea's Belgian star in the same league as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi? It is a question that is constantly posed about Hazard.

The answer, at the moment, is still a resounding no. Hazard requires the consistency over a lengthy period to be promoted to the same level as football's current greatest. But, on the form from the past few weeks, the 25-year-old is proving to be the creative figure in the home side's lineup, as he was in Jose Mourinho's title winning side two years ago.

His first goal, in the 19th minute, was typical Hazard. Cutting in from the left, the Belgian opened up his body and struck the ball with power and pace, sending it into the far corner of Stekelenburg's goal. The Dutch goalkeeper should have done better.

If his first was smart, the second was genius. A slick one-two with Pedro saw Hazard running at Funes Mori in the Everton defense. Slaloming from left to right, the Argentine defender found himself tangled as Hazard pushed the ball to his left and drilled into the net for his seventh goal in 11 games. He only managed five in the whole of last season.

Ronald Koeman Attempts to Fight Fire with Fire

The only blot on Chelsea's recent record came in the EFL Cup; a 2-1 defeat away to West Ham saw Chelsea left with only two trophies to fight for.

Slaven Bilic, the West Ham manager, had sent his team out in a 3-4-3 formation—and it worked. Chelsea was without it's star men, Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic, but it was still beaten. Koeman, perhaps, looked to do the same.

Ashley Williams, Phil Jagielka and Funes Mori played at the heart of Everton's defense but Chelsea ran riot. Hazard and Pedro were finding space on the wings, pulling Everton's rock apart.

When Marcos Alonso latched onto Pedro's cross and sent Chelsea two ahead in the 19th minute, Koeman had seen enough. Brian Oviedo, playing as a wing-back, was replaced with Kevin Mirallas and the visitors switched back to 4-4-2. The game, however, was already gone and only got worse.

Finally Farewell to Captain, Leader, Legend?

Conte called down the touchline to John Terry, the Chelsea captain who was warming up. Leading 5-0, it was time for the 35-year-old to come on.

With Kurt Zouma on his way back from injury, playing in the club's development team twice in the past two weeks, competition to be in Conte's new back-three is stiff.

Terry's lack of pace doesn't lend itself to a three, without the protection of a full-back. Perhaps, this will end up being a farewell season to Chelsea's most successful captain.