Cole Palmer Erling HaalandGetty

Chelsea player ratings vs Everton: Cole Palmer is coming for the Golden Boot! Blues' main man nets FOUR times in massive Premier League win but pathetic penalty squabble takes shine off perfect night

Where would Chelsea be without Cole Palmer? It's a question that has followed the Blues around like a lost puppy all season and on Monday, Palmer provided the most concrete proof yet of just how vitally important he is to Mauricio Pochettino's side, netting a quite incredible hat-trick inside half an hour against Everton.

This resounding 6-0 victory moved Chelsea to within three points of sixth place with a game in hand and with an FA Cup final to follow on Saturday, there remains hope that Mauricio Pochettino's side can salvage a respectable finish from the absolute bin fire that was their entire 2023.

Palmer got the party started in the 13th minute, finishing off a scintillating passage of play with a first-time shot into the far corner. He then headed home from close range and produced a stunning lob to seal his perfect hat trick, leaving just enough first-half time for Nicolas Jackson to compound the struggling Toffees' misery with an excellent finish inside the box.

With the goals flying in and Chelsea even defending competently, it all looked set to be a rare perfect night. But the Blues just couldn't help letting a little of their dysfunction seep through during the second half, with an embarrassing penalty squabble between Jackson and Noni Madueke threatening to take the shine off their side's performance.

Palmer would eventually step up, holding his nerve in spite of the nonsense to score his fourth of the match, but the scene would've sent Pochettino mad on the touchline. The blow would likely have been softened by the uplifting scene of boyhood Blues fans Alfie Gilchrist scoring his first-ever senior goal in second-half stoppage time at least.

GOAL rates Chelsea's players from Stamford Bridge...

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