'Everton knew it' - national media make disturbing observation about embarrassing defeat to Chelsea

Jordan Pickford checks the ball position ahead of a penalty kick for Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Everton FC at Stamford Bridge on April 15, 2024 -Credit:Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images
Jordan Pickford checks the ball position ahead of a penalty kick for Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Everton FC at Stamford Bridge on April 15, 2024 -Credit:Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Everton suffered their heaviest-ever Premier League defeat to Chelsea and worst loss at Stamford Bridge since they were also beaten 6-0 in 1948 and the national media were understandably scathing of the visitors’ display as they were torn to shreds.

In the Mirror, a tongue-in-cheek Mike Walters even went as far as suggesting that Everton’s “spineless” display was enough to get them yet another points deduction.

He wrote: “On this evidence, you have to fear for Sean Dyche’s side when the music stops and the Premier League have finished docking them points. They deserved to be booed off. They were a disgrace.

READ MORE: Full transcript of tense Sean Dyche press conference after embarrassing Everton loss

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“Already docked eight points in two sittings by Premier League accountants, Everton have formally lodged an appeal against the latest two-point penalty. It is absurd, with barely a month of the season remaining, that the relegation battle is subject to more asterisks than a Gordon Ramsay kitchen nightmare.

“But the biggest reason that Everton are fighting for their lives a third season running is because they aren’t very good. One league win in four months tells its own grievous story, and the Toffees’ run-in is horrendous. This really could be the season they go down after tap-dancing on the trapdoor once too often.

“From the moment Palmer first dipped into his top hat after 13 minutes, they were on a hiding to nothing. Palmer nutmegged Jarrad Branthwaite, exchanged passes with Nicolas Jackson and swept a delightful, curling effort beyond Jordan Pickford.

“Within five minutes, Everton’s night was already beyond repair as Pickford parried Jackson’s close-range effort and Palmer nodded his second from barely a couple of yards. And when England keeper Pickford’s brainstorm – a negligent, sloppy clearance under no pressure – gifted Palmer his hat-trick chance, he obliged with a pitching-wedge finish, right-footed, from nearly 40 yards.

“Game over, and Everton knew it.”

In the Daily Telegraph, Matt Law remarked that on the day that Everton confirmed they had submitted their second points deduction appeal of the campaign, they might even have to rely on off-the-field wrangling to preserve their Premier League status. He stated: “With little breathing space between themselves and the relegation zone, Everton must hope their appeal against a second points deduction of the season proves to be successful. On this evidence, they cannot be relied on to pull themselves out of trouble on the pitch.

“With over 70 minutes of the game remaining, it seemed a certainty that Palmer would complete his hat-trick and he did so shortly before the 30-minute mark – thanks in part to a terrible mistake from Pickford. Palmer certainly does not need any favours to get on the scoresheet right now, but he got one when Pickford passed the ball into his path when trying to find Amadou Onana.

“Pickford immediately raced back towards his own goal, but Palmer lobbed a beautiful right-foot shot from around 35 yards over the goalkeeper and into the net. It was an incredible way to complete a hat-trick and left Everton and manager Sean Dyche completely stunned after the visitors had made a decent start.”

Jacob Steinburg of the Guardian picked up on the disturbing observation that it was Cole Palmer’s Chelsea team-mates rather than anyone in the Everton side who were most-determined to thwart him. He said: “On a night when Jordan Pickford’s distribution deteriorated and Jarrad Branthwaite added to Sean Dyche’s gloom by going off injured, nothing summed up the extent of Everton’s collapse more than the fact that the players who tried hardest to stop Cole Palmer scoring were wearing blue.

“Such is the nature of life at ­Stamford Bridge for Mauricio ­Pochettino, whose side are three points off sixth place after their most emphatic win in the Premier League this season. Some teams cruise through 6-0 thrashings, but not ­Chelsea. They are sometimes brilliant, always enigmatic and still, despite fleeting signs of progress, prone to moments of inexplicable immaturity.

“Palmer, of course, is never affected by the chaos. He destroyed Everton with his second hat-trick in consecutive home games, which makes it 20 goals and nine assists since his move from Manchester City last summer, and he did not even flinch when the petulant pair of ­Nicolas Jackson and Noni Madueke tried to take a second-half penalty off him.

“This was one to forget for Pickford, who had already gifted Palmer his hat-trick goal with a wayward pass. Everton, as James Tarkowski later acknowledged, were ­embarrassing. Instead of displaying the fight that might be expected from a team perched two points above the ­bottom three, they disgraced themselves after going behind and, judging by the nature of their risible defending and pedestrian attack, cannot base their hopes of survival on winning their appeal against their latest points deduction for breaching profitability and sustainability regulations.

“True, Everton feel a sense of injustice. The pre-match bulletins from Chelsea focused a growing injury list and revelations contained within their year-end accounts about a loss of £90.1m being soothed by the sale of two hotels from one club-affiliated entity to another. Others can only marvel at the financial creativeness. But Everton have made mistakes in the boardroom and are a mess on the pitch.”

Meanwhile, in the ECHO, Joe Thomas insisted that Everton’s players could have no complaints about their barracking from the away section at Stamford Bridge. He stated: “Everton deserved every boo they received after the worst half of Sean Dyche’s reign.

“They would not have been able to complain should they have received the same treatment at full time. The only reason they did not was because the away end was all but empty.

“And who could blame the thousands who had spent hundreds in a cost of living crisis in the mistaken belief they would be rewarded by fight and desire, if not quality? Their team gave them no reason to stay.

“For two years those supporters have pulled a club through its troubles. It was against Chelsea that they mustered so incredibly for the first Goodison coach welcome that kickstarted the run to safety under Frank Lampard.

“If they are to do the same for a third campaign then they need to be given some inspiration. Instead, the only applause from the travelling supporters on Monday night was from a handful of fans who acknowledged Cole Palmer as he left the pitch having scored four goals. He could have had six. His team, in total, eventually did.”