'Embarrassment' - National media saying same thing as ‘unnecessary’ incident overshadows Chelsea win

Cole Palmer celebrates
Chelsea kept their European dreams alive with a big win against Everton -Credit:Darren Walsh

Chelsea kept their hopes of European football alive on Monday night with a rampant 6-0 thrashing of Everton. Cole Palmer continued to be the starman at Stamford Bridge with his second hat-trick in three games.

The 21-year-old scored four times against the Toffees - including three in 16 first-half minutes - to join Erling Haaland as the Premier League's top-scorer with 20.

Nicolas Jackson scored one of his best goals since his summer move from Villareal before Alfie Gilchrist added a sixth late on with his first senior goal for the club.

The victory leaves Chelsea ninth in the Premier League table, only three points behind Newcastle in sixth. Depending on how the UEFA coefficient rankings play out this season, eighth place could offer European football.

Mauricio Pochettino's side still have to face Arsenal, Aston Villa, Tottenham, West Ham and Brighton in the league and remain in the hat to win the FA Cup. Monday night's win means the Blues are now unbeaten in eight league games meaning confidence is starting to flow again at Cobham.

Despite the thrashing of Everton, there was a moment involving Noni Madueke, Jackson and Palmer when Chelsea were awarded a penalty in the second half.

READ MORE: Palmer sensational, Jackson and Madueke worry - Chelsea winners and losers after Everton win

READ MORE: Chelsea teammates in awe of Cole Palmer as John Terry sends subtle message after Everton hat-trick

With that being said, here's a look at how the national media have reacted to the west Londoners' biggest win of the season.

'Chelsea will learn the lesson'

Thom Gibbs, of The Telegraph, wrote: "You would usually call this a good season for penalties at Chelsea. After Monday night’s thumping of Everton, Mauricio Pochettino’s team have been awarded 14 and scored 12. Cole Palmer has taken nine and scored them all, Noni Madueke is similarly faultless from his two attempts. Enzo Fernandez has scored one attempt from two from 12 yards. Raheem Sterling has taken one and missed

"This omits the psychodrama which has enveloped the ritual on a number of occasions. In an otherwise flawless evening for the home side on Monday, there was another tiff about who should take the kick.

"Cole Palmer was fouled with his team 4-0 up and Noni Madueke picked up the ball and stood over the spot. Captain Conor Gallagher ordered Madueke to surrender the ball to Palmer, passed it on himself, then Nicolas Jackson came steaming in, apparently to plead Madueke’s case. Palmer pushed him away, sent Jordan Pickford the wrong way and made it 5-0. Jackson had to be cajoled into celebrating the goal.

"All of this seemed highly unnecessary given the scoreline and the generally upbeat mood. Perhaps Palmer should have declared on three goals for the night and donated his spot kick to his team-mate, but certainly the decision for him to take it should not have caused an internal ruction where it briefly seemed plausible that team-mates might come to blows.

"This is not the first time this has happened this season, nor the second, nor even the third. Sterling grabbed the ball from Palmer against Leicester in the Cup and missed, Madueke pleaded for the right to take the spot kick which Palmer equalised with against Manchester United in the league earlier this month and Palmer and Sterling argued about the right taker against Arsenal in October. Again, Palmer scored.

"Maybe one day Chelsea will learn the lesson which seems obvious to all neutral observers: just let Palmer handle it."

'Mini-tantrums were unnecessary'

Alyson Rudd, of The Times, wrote: "If there was any doubt, and there probably was not much at all, as to who will be named the PFA young player of the year, there is none now. Cole Palmer scored four goals with such self-assurance it is hard to believe he is still only 21. He may even win the campaign’s Golden Boot given he is on 20 goals so far, level with Erling Haaland.

"Palmer received a standing ovation when he was taken off in the 80th minute, having scored his second hat-trick of the season, before netting a fourth from the penalty spot — but only after a squabble between team-mates over who should take the spot-kick that Mauricio Pochettino described as “unacceptable”.

"Noni Madueke was brought down in the box by James Tarkowski and made it plain he wanted to take the subsequent penalty, and so there followed much unseemly squabbling given Palmer is the team’s spot-kick specialist. The penalty, however, was actually awarded for a previous foul on Palmer by Abdoulaye Doucouré, so the mini-tantrums were unnecessary after all, and Pochettino labelled the behaviour as “unacceptable” and said he would not stand for it again.

"Needless to say, Palmer won the argument and made sure the ball nestled in the bottom corner to become the first player to score four goals in one game for Chelsea in the Premier League since Frank Lampard in 2010."

Cole Palmer celebrates during Chelsea's thumping victory over Everton
Cole Palmer celebrates during Chelsea's thumping victory over Everton -Credit:Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

'Hint of embarrassment'

Matt Barlow, of The Daily Mail, wrote: "For Chelsea, victory made it five out of five on Monday nights this season, but they could not complete victory without a hint of embarrassment, as players bickered over who should take the penalty.

"Noni Madueke wanted to take it because he thought he had won it, although it later transpired it had been awarded for an earlier foul on Palmer. Nicolas Jackson, who had scored the fourth of the night just before half time, wanted to take it, too.

"Then Palmer stepped forward and took the ball, supported by captain Conor Gallagher.

"The home crowd booed as Jackson refused to retreat quietly. Even after Palmer had beaten Jordan Pickford from the spot with his trademark nonchalance, Jackson had to be reminded by Madueke to go and congratulate the scorer. Something he did very reluctantly.

"Otherwise, it was a wonderful night for Mauricio Pochettino, capped by a popular sixth, the first of his senior career for Alfie Gilchrist. That went down well with the home crowd as Chelsea closed in on the European places, with a little momentum building."

'Cole Palmer team'

Matt Law, of The Telegraph, wrote: "Pep Guardiola used to call Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur side the ‘Harry Kane team’ and the Argentine now has the ‘Cole Palmer team’ at Chelsea.

"But some of the shine was taken off Palmer’s four-goal show by a pathetic pushing match involving Nicolas Jackson and Noni Madueke over a second-half penalty.

"The spot-kick was eventually taken and scored by Palmer, and it is unthinkable to consider where ninth-placed Chelsea would be this season without him and his 20 Premier League goals.

"Thanks to four goals against Everton, which included an incredible perfect hat-trick, Palmer is now the League’s joint top scorer with Erling Haaland. He could yet fire FA Cup semi-finalists Chelsea to European qualification and an unlikely trophy.

"England assistant manager Steve Holland was at Stamford Bridge on Monday night and he and Gareth Southgate are going to find it difficult to leave Palmer out of their squad for the European Championships."