Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp felt staging the Champions League match against Atletico Madrid at Anfield without restrictions earlier this month was a "criminal act", according to Carlo Ancelotti.

Everton head coach Ancelotti has spoken with Klopp amid the coronavirus pandemic and said the German had concerns over his side’s continental fixture going ahead in front of a full stadium on March 11.

Liverpool went out of the Champions League after the second leg of their last-16 tie ended in a 4-2 aggregate defeat, their last match before top-level football was widely halted due to the outbreak.

Ancelotti told Corriere dello Sport: "I heard from Klopp the other day, he told me that going ahead with the game in those conditions was a criminal act. I think he was right."

Former Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Milan boss Ancelotti predicts there will be an economic "downsizing" after the virus has passed, with football feeling the effects of that.

"We are all living a life that we were not used to and that will change us profoundly," he said. "I'm sure we will all have to downsize, starting with football.

"Today, the priority is health, limiting the contagion. When you start again, when you finish, the dates - believe me, I don't care. At the moment, that's the last thing on my mind.

"I hear talk about cutting salaries, suspension of payments. They seem like inopportune solutions.

"Soon the economy will change, and that's at all levels: The TV rights will be less, players and coaches will earn less, tickets will cost less because people will have less money.

"I repeat, what matters now is to fight the virus effectively. Then, of course, if it will be possible to continue the season... otherwise, amen."

Juventus may be able to bring Paul Pogba back to Turin, but it could cost them a star.

Pogba, 27, has been linked with a move away from Manchester United, having returned to Old Trafford in 2016.

But the Serie A champions could be ready to give up a leading player in their bid to bring the France international back.

 

TOP STORY – POGBA TO JUVENTUS, DYBALA OR PJANIC TO MAN UTD

Manchester United midfielder Pogba could return to Juventus for money plus Paulo Dybala or Miralem Pjanic, according to Tuttosport.

Dybala almost headed to Old Trafford during the close season but is reportedly close to signing a contract extension with Juventus.

Pjanic, meanwhile, has made 32 appearances in all competitions this season, having arrived at Juve from domestic rivals Roma in 2016.

 

ROUND-UP

- The talk around Lautaro Martinez possibly leaving Inter to join Barcelona continues. Sport reports Barca are advancing in their bid to convince Martinez, with their project and potentially playing with Lionel Messi at club level their key points.

- With his Real Madrid future uncertain, Marcelo could be set for a move. Juventus are again interested in the left-back, according to Marca.

- Staying at the Santiago Bernabeu - Lucas Vazquez could also be heading for a Real Madrid exit. AS reports there have been no discussions over a potential contract extension with the forward, whose deal expires next year.

- Martin Braithwaite only arrived at Barcelona in February, but the LaLiga giants are already considering their options. Sport says Barca will not sell Braithwaite for less than €18million, which is what they paid to land the forward. Everton and West Ham are reportedly interested in the Denmark international.

- Arsenal are seemingly considering a move for Nabil Fekir again. The Premier League club were linked with the forward last year, but the Daily Star reports the Real Betis man is back on their radar as a potential replacement for Dani Ceballos, whose loan from Real Madrid ends at the conclusion of the season.

Is Cristiano Ronaldo's time at Juventus coming to an end?

Ronaldo swapped LaLiga giants Real Madrid for Serie A champions Juventus in 2018.

But the 35-year-old superstar reportedly wants out of Turin.

 

TOP STORY – RONALDO EYES JUVE EXIT

Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Juventus as Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United circle, according to Diario GOL.

The report claims Ronaldo has an offer from Ligue 1 champions PSG, who want to partner the five-time Ballon d'Or winner with Kylian Mbappe.

Ronaldo has also received a proposal from former club United and the 35-year-old wants to restore the glory days at Old Trafford, though it depends on Champions League qualification.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Star says Barcelona have made a bid for Inter forward Lautaro Martinez as their interest in Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has cooled. Aubameyang has been linked to Barca, PSG and United.

Chelsea have been offered the chance to sign out-of-favour Barca attacker Philippe Coutinho, reports The Mirror. Barca are looking to offload the Brazilian, who is on loan at Bayern Munich. United, Arsenal and Tottenham have also been mentioned as possible destinations.

- El Pais says Argentine powerhouse Boca Juniors are keen on signing PSG forward Edinson Cavani, who is set to become a free agent at the end of the 2019-20 season.

Declan Rice to return to Stamford Bridge? Sky Sports says Chelsea are hoping to re-sign the West Ham midfielder, who spent most of his youth career with the Blues.

Gianluigi Donnarumma's future at Milan is uncertain. Calciomercato claims a farewell cannot be ruled out amid contract negotiations. Real Madrid, PSG and Everton are among the reported suitors for the Italy international goalkeeper.

- According to Calciomercato, Napoli are preparing for life without star defender Kalidou Koulibaly, who continues to be linked with the likes of United, Madrid and Bayern. Freiburg's Robin Koch has emerged as an option for Napoli.

Inter and Juve are interested in former Milan midfielder and current Sassuolo star Manuel Locatelli, reports Calciomercato.

As the world continues to battle against the coronavirus pandemic, football fans across the globe face another weekend scratching around for something to fill the void.

The domestic calendar in England was halted last week in a bid to reduce social gatherings and the Football Association confirmed its leagues would not return until at least the end of April.

While we cannot say for sure how this weekend's Premier League fixtures would have gone, our friends at Opta have come up with a system to predict the outcomes.

What chance would your team have had? Take a look below.

 

Predictor explainer:

The Opta Predictor estimates the probability of each match outcome (win, draw or loss) given each team's attacking and defensive quality. The team's attacking and defensive qualities are based on four years of historic results, with more weighting given to their most recent results. The model will take into account the quality of the opposition that a team scores or concedes against and reward them accordingly.


 

BURNLEY v WATFORD

Home win: 49 per cent
Draw: 26 per cent
Away win: 25 per cent

Watford may have handed Liverpool their first defeat of the Premier League season, but with just one victory in their past three visits to Turf Moor it is Burnley who are expected to win by the predictor. Sean Dyche's side have gone unbeaten in seven top-flight matches to move into a more comfortable position in the middle of the table.

CHELSEA v MANCHESTER CITY

Home win: 30 per cent
Draw: 24 per cent
Away win: 46 per cent

Manchester City are the pick to prevail at Stamford Bridge, a ground where Pep Guardiola has lost on two of his three Premier League visits. Kevin De Bruyne's winner in September 2017 fired City's charge to a 100-point title romp but goals from N'Golo Kante and David Luiz saw the Blues hand Guardiola's men the first league defeat of their triumphant 2018-19 campaign. Kante and De Bruyne were both on target when the sides met at the Etihad Stadium back in November, before Riyad Mahrez sealed a 2-1 comeback win for the hosts.

LEICESTER CITY v BRIGHTON

Home win: 62 per cent
Draw: 22 per cent
Away win: 16 per cent

Brighton won at Arsenal back in December, but that was just one of two away victories for the Seagulls so far in the Premier League this season, so their prospects at Leicester were inevitably looking bleak. After a worrying slump, Leicester looked to have rediscovered their mojo by the time the league ground to a halt, with Jamie Vardy back on the goal trail following a drought. Leicester’s nine wins at the King Power Stadium this term looked highly likely to become 10.

LIVERPOOL v CRYSTAL PALACE

Home win: 76 per cent win
Draw: 16 per cent
Away win: 8 per cent

A predicted triumph for Liverpool at Anfield is by no means a surprise given they are on a top-flight record of 22 straight home wins. With just an eight per cent chance of winning, Palace had the lowest chance of victory in this round of fixtures. However, with City predicted to come out on top against Chelsea, the Reds' wait to clinch the Premier League title would have continued.

MANCHESTER UNITED v SHEFFIELD UNITED

Home win: 48 per cent
Draw: 30 per cent
Away win: 22 per cent

The halt in football action came at a bad time for Manchester United, who were on a magnificent roll - 11 matches unbeaten with eight victories. The Opta predictor backed the hosts to continue that run, but at 48 per cent, a home win was seen as far from a certainty. Amid an amazing season, Sheffield United are just two points behind Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men and at 30 per cent, it is the most likely contest on the matchday to end in a draw. That was also the outcome in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Bramall Lane in November.

NEWCASTLE UNITED v ASTON VILLA

Home win: 54 per cent
Draw: 24 per cent
Away win: 22 per cent

The predicted win for Newcastle is something Aston Villa – second from bottom and 10 points shy of Steve Bruce's men – could ill afford in reality. Newcastle are unbeaten in five matches at St James' Park, although that run includes three consecutive 0-0 draws. Villa have lost four in succession in the Premier League and only won three times in the top flight since beating the Magpies 2-0 in the corresponding fixture on November 25.

NORWICH CITY v EVERTON

Home win: 28 per cent
Draw: 26 per cent
Away win: 46 per cent

Norwich prop up the Premier League table and the predictor reflects as such, with Everton having a greater chance of victory on the road. The Toffees' last win at Carrow Road came in 2004, though, and Everton were beaten 2-0 at home by Daniel Farke's side back in November, Todd Cantwell and Dennis Srbeny with the goals at Goodison Park.

SOUTHAMPTON v ARSENAL

Home win: 28 per cent
Draw: 24 per cent
Away win: 48 per cent

Southampton’s resurgence during December and January had given way to a worrying patch of form over February and early March. Ralph Hasenhuttl's men did beat Aston Villa at home, but this Arsenal side under Mikel Arteta’s leadership are a different prospect to the team Saints held 2-2 in north London back in November. The Gunners are unbeaten in the Premier League in 2020, and they would have fancied claiming all three points on offer at St Mary's.

TOTTENHAM v WEST HAM

Home win: 70 per cent
Draw: 17 per cent
Away win: 13 per cent

The Hammers were not predicted to fare particularly well at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but they did defy the odds with a 1-0 win at the same venue in April 2019, Michail Antonio scoring the winner. Tottenham were the victors in the reverse fixture this season, a 3-2 triumph in Jose Mourinho's first match in charge.

WOLVES V BOURNEMOUTH

Home win: 58 per cent
Draw: 23 per cent
Away win: 19 per cent

Wolves are unbeaten in all three of their Premier League matches against Bournemouth, including a 2-1 win in the reverse fixture, and the predictor has them as the more likely winners on this matchday. That would come as a welcome relief to Wolves, who have won just one of their last five home top-flight matches, while Eddie Howe's men would be primed for a seventh consecutive away loss.

The Premier League has been suspended until at least April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic, so what does that mean for the rest of the season?

Decisions made by UEFA and CONMEBOL to push back Euro 2020 and the Copa America until 2021 opened the door for domestic competition to continue longer than initially planned.

Upon announcing a four-week extension to the initially planned hiatus on Thursday, the Football Association (FA) revealed it would allow its leagues to continue beyond the June 1 deadline set out in its regulations.

The eventual run-in could prove to be heavily congested. Some Premier League teams are still competing on three fronts, others possess a game in hand, while UEFA is still hoping for a round of international matches in June.

If no games are cut out, we look at how the calendar for English teams could hypothetically shape up if competitions across Europe were able to resume following April 30.

 

May 2/3 - Matchday 30

May 7 - Postponed Europa League last-16 first legs and unplayed matchday 29 games

May 9/10 - Matchday 31

May 12/13/14 - FA Cup quarter-finals

May 16/17 - Matchday 32

May 19/20/21 - Champions League and Europa League last-16 second legs

May 23/24 - Matchday 33

May 26/27/28 - Champions League and Europa League quarter-final first legs

May 30/31 - Matchday 34

June 2/3/4 - Champions League and Europa League quarter-final second legs

June 6/7 - Matchday 35

June 13/14 - International week

June 20/21 - Matchday 36

June 23/24/25 - Champions League and Europa League semi-final first legs

June 27/28 - Matchday 37

June 30/July 1/2 - FA Cup semi-finals

July 4 - Matchday 38

July 7/8/9 - Champions League and Europa League semi-final second legs

July 11 - FA Cup final

July 15 - Europa League final

July 18 - Champions League final

England and Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has denied reports he has been advised to self-isolate after making a public appearance on Friday.

Everton shut down their facilities, with players and staff advised to self-isolate after an unnamed member of the squad showed symptoms of coronavirus.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the suspension of all Europe's major football leagues, including England's top four divisions.

However, Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti told Gazzetta dello Sport on Saturday that the team were not in self-isolation, though they are taking precautionary measures.

On Friday, Pickford attended a charity boxing evening in Durham, alongside his wife.

But the 26-year-old, who has come under criticism for his performances at times this season, insists he did not go against protocol.

"[Friday] night I attended a boxing event with my family," Pickford shared in a message on his official Twitter account.

"Recently, my local boxing event had a fire. In conjunction with one of my sponsors, we helped the club to get back on its feet by helping out.

"There are many young grassroot boxers training here and it helps the local community.

"I had made a commitment to them that I would attend the event and prior to going I spoke to the club doctor to ensure I was okay to attend."

Everton had been due to host rivals Liverpool – who need two wins to secure their first Premier League title – in the Merseyside derby on Monday.

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has questioned the United Kingdom's response to the coronavirus crisis and insisted "football counts for zero" at this point.

The Premier League performed a U-turn on Friday by announcing all games will be suspended until April 3 in wake of a number of high-profile incidents.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is among those to have contracted COVID-19 and Everton's squad and staff were told to self-isolate after one of their players showed symptoms consistent with the virus.

Ancelotti feels the time is right to postpone football at all levels and is unsure when exactly his side will reconvene to complete their remaining fixtures.

"We're not really self-isolating at all, but some prevention measures did come in after a player had a fever, but his temperature has dropped now and that’s the most important thing," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"The Premier League did stop eventually, and it's about time. It was the right decision faced with the scenario. We couldn't continue. Health is the most important thing for everyone: teams, fans, media, everyone who works in football.

"In theory, we ought to get back to work on March 22, but if the situation should worsen, how can we even think of that? If the coronavirus is still spreading rapidly, football cannot resume.

"Football counts for zero right now and it almost irritates me to be talking about it, faced with the tragedy that is unfolding in front of our eyes. This is a pandemic, a situation none of us had experienced before now."

There have been more than 21,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Italy, with close to 1,500 deaths - second only to China - while 21 people have died in the UK.

And the Italian coach was unconvinced by comments from Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday when suggesting life should continue as normal.

"The number of deaths in Italy is terrible. In one day, another 250 people died. The priority is to concentrate on this fight, the rest doesn't matter," Ancelotti said.

"Italy were forced to understand that it was time to stop being superficial, they had to respect the orders and stay home, to respect themselves and others during this war.

"I watched Boris Johnson's speech on TV and it seems to be someone here hasn't realised the gravity of the situation. Life continues as normal, to a certain degree."

Everton have placed their first-team squad and coaching staff in self-isolation after a first-team player reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus.

The news comes as the Premier League prepares to stage an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss how to proceed with forthcoming fixtures and the ongoing season, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to compromise existing arrangements.

Carlo Ancelotti's team are scheduled to face Liverpool in a Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Monday – a fixture that now appears highly unlikely to take place.

A statement issued by Everton read: "Everton Football Club can confirm that, as a precautionary measure, its entire first-team squad and coaching staff are undertaking a period of self-isolation following medical advice.

"The step has been taken after a first-team player reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus. The club is in regular contact with the player in question and is monitoring the well-being of all players and staff."

Additionally, Everton have closed down all club facilities, including Goodison Park, its Finch Farm training base and its headquarters at the Royal Liver Building in Liverpool city centre.

On Thursday, the Premier League publicly committed to fulfilling its fixtures this weekend in line with UK government advice that did not recommend the cancellation of sporting fixtures, although events have since escalated.

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi have both tested positive for COVID-19.

A Manchester City player, reported to be full-back Benjamin Mendy, is self-isolating as a precaution after a family member was hospitalised with symptoms of a respiratory illness.

News from Arsenal, Chelsea, City and Everton added to Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers confirming three of his players had been isolated from their team-mates after displaying mild symptoms, meaning a quarter of the clubs in England's top flight were directly affected.

Leicester are due to travel to Watford on Saturday, although Hornets boss Nigel Pearson told reporters one of his players is awaiting test results after a number of his squad were symptomatic.

"We've had players who have had symptoms of not being well," he said. "We've got one player awaiting test results on his symptoms. We are trying to be proactive and hopefully the Premier League will make a strong decision based on what is good for everybody.”

Paul Pogba is reportedly ready to stunningly re-sign with Manchester United.

The midfielder has been linked with a move away from the Premier League club throughout the season, one during which he has made just eight appearances in all competitions.

However, a fresh report suggests Pogba may yet stay at United.

 

TOP STORY – POGBA OPEN TO EXTENDING MAN UTD STAY

Pogba is ready to recommit to Manchester United, according to the Daily Mail.

The France international, who is contracted until 2021 but linked to Real Madrid and Juventus, sees his long-term future at the club and could even extend his deal, the report says.

Bruno Fernandes has helped lead a turnaround in form for United, who are unbeaten in 10 games.

ROUND-UP

- With Zinedine Zidane's future at Real Madrid increasingly uncertain, Marca reports former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino would be the main candidate to replace the Frenchman.

- Amid the troubles at AC Milan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic's return at San Siro may not last that long. CalcioMercato reports the striker's future with the club is in danger with his contract expiring at the end of the season.

- Marc-Andre ter Stegen has a deal at Barcelona until 2022, but it remains to be seen how long he stays at Camp Nou. Goal reports the LaLiga club are unable to meet the demands of the star goalkeeper.

- Linked repeatedly with a move for Moussa Dembele throughout last close season, United are lining up a fresh £60million (€68.4m) move for the Lyon forward, according to The Sun. Dembele has scored 22 goals in 42 games this season.

- With Hirving Lozano seemingly unwanted at Napoli, several European clubs are said to be interested in the attacker. CalcioMercato reports Atletico Madrid, Everton and West Ham are keen to sign Lozano.

Carlo Ancelotti admitted Everton failed to compete for the first time since his arrival at the club, but backed them to recover from their 4-0 thrashing by his former team Chelsea.

The Toffees' winless run stands at three Premier League games after goals from Mason Mount, Pedro, Willian and Olivier Giroud helped Chelsea to an easy win at Stamford Bridge.

Everton are 12th in the table as they prepare for the Merseyside derby against Liverpool at Goodison Park on March 16, but Ancelotti insisted a top-six finish is within reach.

"Everything went wrong," said Ancelotti. "It's not difficult to judge this game, to analyse this game. We were not good enough defensively.

"We were too open, not compact, lost a lot of duels, and with the ball we made a lot of mistakes on passes. So it wasn't a good game. Not a good day, but we can learn from our mistakes.

"Honestly, it's the first time, the first game where we didn't compete. Usually, in the other games, also we didn’t win but we competed until the end of the game.

"We've never talked about Champions League. This team was close to relegation. We are still there, six points from the Europa League. We have to fight for this."

Everton lost only one of their first eight top-flight matches under Ancelotti, but have tasted defeat in two of their last three as they head into a run of games against Liverpool, Leicester City and Tottenham.

Ancelotti was asked about the club's prospects of playing in the Champions League – a competition he won twice with Milan and once with Real Madrid – and the Italian is upbeat about Everton's potential.

"That's the target of the club," he said. "In the future.

"We have to improve, of course. As I said, today we were not at the same level as Chelsea. A week ago, though, we were at the same level as Manchester United.

"You cannot judge a team on one week. At the end of the season we will see where we are. But the future is set: this club wants to be competitive in the Premier League and Europe."

Frank Lampard was unwilling to get ahead of himself after Chelsea produced a brilliant display to brush aside Everton 4-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Carlo Ancelotti led Chelsea to glory in the Premier League and FA Cup during his two years as manager in west London, when Lampard was one of his players, but was on the receiving end of a chastening defeat on Sunday.

Mason Mount and Pedro struck in the first half, before Willian and Olivier Giroud scored within three minutes of one another in the second period to put the result beyond doubt.

Prior to Tuesday's 2-0 FA Cup fifth-round victory over Liverpool, Chelsea had won just two of their previous eight games in all competitions.

Despite an upturn in form for the Blues, Lampard was unwilling to suggest they have got a second wind that could carry them into the final stretch of the season.

"I'm a bit wary to say that. The last two performances would look like that, but I'm experienced enough to know we go to Aston Villa away, a team who are fighting for their lives and have got good players, so we have to replicate what we showed today every week," said Lampard.

"Yes, we had a good early patch this season. Then we've had inconsistencies recently. Who hasn't, other than Liverpool, in this league?

"I don't accept those inconsistencies, obviously, but it's understandable in this transitional period. But we had to work today to show we can finish the season with strength and get better."

With N'Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic out injured and Jorginho suspended, Billy Gilmour made his first Premier League start alongside Mount and Ross Barkley in midfield and was named man of the match.

"He's receiving the ball in difficult areas on the pitch," Lampard said of Gilmour. "If you don't move it quickly, firstly you don't get the rhythm in our play and it breaks down from, and secondly if you give it away in those areas, it is dangerous.

"I was going to use a rude word there, but you need... confidence to do that. Jorginho has it and Billy has it.

"One of the most pleasing things with Billy was he showed those balls in the first half, but when he stepped up and played higher up in the pitch second half, he instantly took it on board, arriving in the box and playing balls higher up the pitch.

"He showed he can do both, which is a great thing for me when I'm thinking about how the midfield looks at times."

On whether he saw signs of maturity from his team after a tricky spell, Lampard said: "I don't think we're there yet. It would be easy for me to say it after today but I'd much rather say it in mid-May, when the last game is.

"To think we're there and to think that we've got over the issues, even at home, would be too over-confident and think we are all right.

"We are improving in big degrees. We have to keep working. I see a bigger picture, an even longer run than that. I think we have a gap that is big to Liverpool in terms of points. At the minute, it feels like we're working in the right direction, but we've got lots of work to do."

Billy Gilmour said it would be "amazing to be called up" for Scotland after the teenage midfielder impressed in his first Premier League start for Chelsea.

Having played a starring role in the Blues' FA Cup triumph over Liverpool in midweek, Gilmour kept his place for Sunday's 4-0 thrashing of Carlo Ancelotti's Everton at Stamford Bridge.

The 18-year-old completed 92.5 per cent of his passes and also created a chance from a deep-lying role, justifying Frank Lampard's faith in him with Jorginho suspended.

A second successive eye-catching outing could lead to Gilmour being part of Scotland's squad for the Euro 2020 play-off against Israel later this month, though the player himself is not getting too carried away by such talk.

"It's a bit mad, to be fair," Gilmour told Sky Sports.

"It would be amazing to be called up, but I just need to keep working hard here and doing my best. Hopefully, I get that opportunity soon."

Mason Mount and Pedro scored in the first half against the Toffees, with Willian and Olivier Giroud adding further goals for the hosts after the break.

As well as embracing the opportunity to make his first top-flight start, Gilmour was pleased to help Chelsea maintain their push for a top-four finish.

"It was amazing, a dream come true to make my debut in the Premier League," he said.

"Most of all, though, [it's about] getting the three points so we carry on winning. Hopefully we can continue that on the way forward.

"Today was a tough game. Liverpool was a good game and I played well. But you can only go into the next game and do exactly the same; work your hardest, play well and do your best for the team."

Team-mate Giroud praised Gilmour's mature display, telling Sky Sports: "He's done very well again.

"For a young player, he's got a great maturity and he also listens to advice. He's got a nice future in front of him, if he stays like that."

Carlo Ancelotti's return to Stamford Bridge ended with Everton suffering a chastening 4-0 defeat to Chelsea on Sunday.

Everton were completely overwhelmed by a Chelsea midfield that saw Billy Gilmour make his first Premier League start alongside Ross Barkley and Mason Mount, who got the Blues up and running in the 14th minute.

Pedro assisted Mount and was himself on target in the Premier League for the first time since February 2019 seven minutes later – the experienced winger involved in as many goals in the opening 21 minutes as in his previous 21 appearances in the competition.

Willian drove home a powerful effort and set up Olivier Giroud in the space of three second-half minutes to put the result beyond doubt, with Frank Lampard's side claiming just their third top-flight win of the year.

Jordan Pickford did well to keep out Mount's first effort, but the midfielder scored the opener when a sublime first touch while turning on the edge of the box was followed by a sweeping drive into the bottom-left corner.

Willian outpaced Mason Holgate and had a cross-goal effort kept out well by Pickford, before Pedro doubled the hosts' lead by slotting home from Barkley's throughball to finish a wonderful passing move.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin failed to show the prowess in front of goal that earned him a new five-year contract his week, scuffing wide when up against Kepa Arrizabalaga in the goalkeeper's first Premier League game since January 21.

Chelsea picked up where they left off in the second half with Willian arrowing a powerful finish past Pickford in the 51st minute.

Giroud then evaded some dismal marking from Holgate to turn home a curling, first-time delivery from Willian, before Pickford stopped Pedro from making it five.

Lampard handed Premier League debuts to teenagers Faustino Anjorin and Armando Broja off the bench. A good challenge from Djibril Sidibe prevented Anjorin marking the occasion with a goal to round off an already resounding win.
 

What does it mean? Everton a shambles

The Toffees beat Chelsea 3-1 in the reverse fixture at Goodison Park but fell well short of replicating that display in west London.

Ancelotti won the Premier League and FA Cup during two years with the Blues, but his decision to set his team out in a 4-4-2 shape allowed Chelsea to dictate the terms of the match in midfield, while Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison received minimal service.

The benefit of experience

Chelsea's front three of Pedro, Giroud and Willian stood in stark contrast to their youthful midfield, but each of the attacking trio played an important role in the victory. The wingers had a goal and assist each, while Giroud connected the play well.

A bad Davies at the office

Everton were overrun in midfield from minute one, but Tom Davies was guilty of giving Mount too much space ahead of the opener and was nowhere to be seen on the next two goals. He was replaced by Moise Kean in the 58th minute.

What's next?

Chelsea head to Aston Villa next Sunday, while Everton have a Merseyside derby against Premier League leaders Liverpool awaiting a week on Monday.

Frank Lampard restored Kepa Arrizabalaga to Chelsea's Premier League starting line-up for Everton's visit to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Goalkeeper Kepa was dropped following a 2-2 draw at home to Arsenal on January 21, with critics suggesting he should have kept out Hector Bellerin's late equaliser.

Willy Caballero started Chelsea's next six games before the Spain international returned and produced a solid display in the 2-0 FA Cup fifth-round victory over Liverpool on Tuesday.

Lampard subsequently stuck with Kepa in goal against Everton, while Billy Gilmour was handed a starting berth in midfield alongside Mason Mount and Ross Barkley.

N'Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic missed the game through injury and Jorginho was ruled out due to a suspension.

Chelsea also included 18-year-old attacker Armando Broja on the bench for the first time in a senior game.

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti made three changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Manchester United last weekend for his return to his former club.

Lucas Digne and Djibril Sidibe were drafted in at the full-back positions, while Bernard was picked on the left wing.

Manchester City could let Sergio Aguero leave at the end of the season, according to a report.

City were handed a two-season Champions League ban last month over Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches, although they are appealing the ruling.

However, that could lead to a big-name exit at the end of the campaign.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY COULD LET AGUERO LEAVE AT END OF SEASON

Manchester City are willing to let Aguero go if they fail to overturn the European ban, according to The Sun.

The report says the 31-year-old Argentina forward would be allowed to leave if he indicated he wanted to do so despite being contracted until 2021.

Aguero is the Premier League club's all-time leading goalscorer and is enjoying another fine campaign, netting 23 times in 29 games.

 

ROUND-UP

- Luka Jovic has struggled at Real Madrid and could be set for a switch. AS reports Napoli are considering a move for the 22-year-old forward, who has scored just twice this season after joining Madrid for a reported €60million from Eintracht Frankfurt.

- Chelsea seem ready to move on from goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Daily Express reports the Premier League club have been alerted to the potential availability of Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who is said to be weighing up his future at Barcelona. The Mirror reports Chelsea are monitoring Dean Henderson, who has impressed on loan at Sheffield United from Manchester United.

- Also at Stamford Bridge, The Mirror reports Tammy Abraham has rejected a contract offer from Chelsea. Abraham – who has 15 goals this season – has a deal until 2022 but reportedly wants fresh terms similar to the club's other stars before recommitting.

- Looking to strengthen their defence, Manchester City are prepared to spend £80m (€92.5m) on Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar, according to the Daily Express.

- With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang perhaps set for an Arsenal exit, CalcioMercato reports Inter are considering a move for the forward, who played for AC Milan's youth team but never made an appearance for the senior side.

- Everton are eyeing a move for Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin in the close season, according to The Sun.

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