Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho said he is prepared to break social-distancing rules just so he can hug Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Mourinho's struggling Tottenham will welcome Ancelotti and Everton to London for Monday's Premier League clash.

Spurs boss Mourinho heaped praise on counterpart Ancelotti ahead of the showdown – pitting ninth against 11th in the table – with the Portuguese willing to break coronavirus protocol for his love of the Everton coach.

"I think everyone in football admires Carlo [Ancelotti] as a coach and as a person," Mourinho told reporters.

"If you don't know him as a person at least you know him as a coach. I like him so much as a person that I'm going to say the obvious, which is that he is one of the top managers in the world in the last two decades and of course now.

"I think it's a privilege for the Premier League to have Carlo back. It's a privilege for Everton to have him as their manager or head coach, whatever you want to call him.

"As a person, I've had the privilege of knowing him for a few years, to stay and be with him a few times, at UEFA meetings or other different occasions and I just love Carlo.

"I think he is a fantastic guy so I think I am going to break the rule of one-metre distancing and I'm going to hug him because I like Carlo very much."

Tottenham have only won one of their past nine games across all competitions following Thursday's 3-1 defeat to Sheffield United.

Spurs – Champions League runners-up under former manager Mauricio Pochettino last season – are 12 points adrift of the top four with six matches remaining.

"I believe, but it is also possible that does not happen. And if that does not happen it is not the end of the world. If that does not happen, it is probably the beginning of a new world because things change," Mourinho added.

"Change for you, change for other clubs. The squads they change. The motivations they change, the group dynamic changes. The group that possibly was strong 10 years is ago is not strong anymore. A player that was in the maximum of his motivation is not anymore and vice-versa.

"It is also possible that we don't get into a top-six position. And if that happens of course we have to look at it not smiling, but we have to look at it with optimism and look at it with a professional profile of next season has to be different.

"Because if you analyse Tottenham for example last year, how many matches did Tottenham win away from home? When I arrived I think it was almost a year without an away victory. If it happens [finishing outside of the top six], it happens but we don't want it to happen and we are going to fight for it not to happen."

Jurgen Klopp has built a mighty red machine at Liverpool, and Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti admits he is a fan of the German's achievement.

Liverpool's 30-year wait for an English league title came to an end this week when closest rivals Manchester City ran out of games with which to catch them.

A dominant season by the men from Anfield has seen them secure Premier League glory with a record seven games to spare.

There might be considerable envy from supporters on the blue side of the city, but Ancelotti has only praise for Liverpool and Klopp.

He told Sky Sport Italia: "I have a great relationship with him. We met last week when everything was virtually decided and I congratulated him.

"Klopp is the architect of this success. Not only for this victory in the Premier League, but for everything he's managed to achieve since arriving five years ago.

"With patience, he's succeeded in building a perfect machine."

Ancelotti lives in Crosby, away from the bustle of Liverpool, but reported hearing "a few bangs" after the Reds' long-awaited triumph was confirmed on Thursday.

Although he has Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum as a neighbour, Ancelotti said the Dutchman was out celebrating so not at home.

Everton face a stiff task to close the gap on their local rivals, but the appointment of Ancelotti in December looked a possible watershed moment for them.

He has not yet been able to nudge the Toffees into a European place, but despite sitting 12th in the Premier League they remain in that race, given seventh-placed Tottenham are just four points better off.

"Will Everton be the last team in my career? I don't know," said the former Milan and Real Madrid boss. "But honestly I'd like to make a long-term plan with this club."

It's getting closer, and that's about the best Liverpool can say about the 236th Merseyside derby. 

Yes, they dropped points in the Premier League for just the third time this season, but Liverpool always draw at Everton. It's seven times in the last eight meetings in the competition now that the Goodison game has ended in stalemate. 

That elusive Premier League trophy is nevertheless edging its way towards Anfield, and that means this latest visit across Stanley Park can be chalked up as a successful mission. 

Had Dominic Calvert-Lewin converted the chances that came his way in the second half, or Tom Davies buried a glorious match-winning opportunity, then the elbow bump followed by an attempted bear hug from Carlo Ancelotti for Jurgen Klopp at the final whistle might not have been so gladly received. 

For Everton were Liverpool's equals in this first match back for both sides since the league was suspended in March, and that should provide cheer for those on the blue side of the city fence. 

Klopp's Reds, whose lead over Manchester City has been clipped slightly to 23 points and could drop to 20 when Pep Guardiola's men face Burnley on Monday, ought to have nothing to worry about. 

They, as much as Everton, could have won this game, which was not a classic by any means. They rarely are: with tempers raging and tackles flying in, football can come second to animosity and score-settling in the derby. 

But unusually this was tepid, akin to pre-season fodder, one to chalk off probably as a settler for the rest of the games that will rush by over the next five weeks. 

The coronavirus effect on football has inevitably cast a dampener on Liverpool's special campaign, and empty seats at the home of their rivals were a sorry sight. 

Everton and Liverpool have not traditionally done social distancing particularly well, with Goodison Park and Anfield being uncomfortably close. 

The boys in blue have been in their neighbours' shadow for the past 35 years too, and seeing Liverpool carry off the title this season will sting. 

Yet in the league table, these teams have unmistakably been keeping their distance from one another this season. 

Everton began the game with just 37 points, a full 45 fewer than Liverpool, the greatest gulf between the sides for a Merseyside league derby in their histories. 

For a while, the contest was a great advert for a points-per-game resolution and an abandonment of the campaign - the resolution many of those without an eye on football's finances have thought wise all along. 

But then came the flashes of excitement you remember from when football stadiums were packed, and supporters would chide one breath, cheer the next, and when players would respond and the energy would grow, sending the temperature of these occasions soaring. 

Roberto Firmino burst forward and drove his shot wide, Trent Alexander-Arnold went for goal with a free-kick from 35 yards that could have embarrassed Jordan Pickford, and then Liverpool lost James Milner to an apparent hamstring problem, a dose of first-day-back-at-school glumness for the midfielder and Klopp. 

Naby Keita shot just off target after a neat one-two with Firmino before Everton began to hog the chances, Richarlison squandering a big opening when he blazed high and wide of Alisson's goal, his composure still in lockdown. 

Calvert-Lewin almost made the breakthrough when he produced a delicate backheeled flick to divert Richarlison's cross from the left towards goal. 

Alisson made the save but the ball still reached Davies at the far post, the 21-year-old seeing derby glory before him but sending his shot against the foot of the left post. 

Calvert-Lewin headed wide for Ancelotti's men moments later, with the visitors clinging on. 

Liverpool might be about to anti-climax their way through the final leg to glory, but glory all the same is surely still coming. 

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has suffered a blow to his plans for the return of the Premier League after former Barcelona defender Yerry Mina suffered a quad muscle injury.

Mina has been a regular at centre-back this season, appearing in 25 of Everton's 29 top-flight games and scoring twice.

However, there appears little prospect of him being available when the league resumes later this month.

His club stated on their website: "Everton Football Club can confirm Yerry Mina is set to be sidelined for several weeks after sustaining a muscle injury.

"A scan confirmed the Colombia international suffered a partial tear in his left quad muscle during training last week.

"The 25-year-old is now in the early stages of his rehabilitation under the care of the club's medical staff and making good progress."

Mina was an eye-catching €30million signing from Barcelona in August 2018, just weeks after scoring three goals for his country in the World Cup.

The 2019-20 Premier League season is due to return from a three-month coronavirus suspension when two games are played on Wednesday, June 17, followed by a full programme of weekend fixtures.

Everton sat 12th in the Premier League when the season was halted, six points behind sixth-placed Wolves.

News of Mina's injury comes after last week's setback to Everton, that saw midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin suffer a severe Achilles injury in training that will keep him out for the rest of the season.

Former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti believes John Terry will impress as a manager in the same way Frank Lampard has done at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard, who like Terry played under Ancelotti when he was in charge of the Blues between 2009 and 2011, has won praise for his stewardship of a young Chelsea squad this season.

Fellow club legend Terry, presently assistant manager Aston Villa, has also been backed to deliver in a top job by the Italian.

Asked about the success of Lampard, Ancelotti told Sky Sports: "I'm not surprised because as a player, Frank had fantastic tactical qualities. 

"Of course, Frank is doing really well at Chelsea. I'm waiting now for Terry as a manager.

"Now he is an assistant, but I think they both have the qualities to be a good manager."

Ancelotti feels it is easy to forget the quality of the team he had at Chelsea, with his side earning the club's maiden Premier League and FA Cup double in his first year at the helm.

"The second year was more difficult, but the first year was really fantastic," said Ancelotti, now in charge of Everton.

"The club had the goal for the Champions League, but the fact that in the first year we won the Premier League and the FA Cup was really important and really exciting.

"The second year we had some problems. We had [Didier] Drogba with malaria and these kinds of problems. We started really well and we finished really well but the middle of the season was not so good.

"Drogba was fantastic. In the first year, he scored 36 goals but to mention Drogba means to forget [Nicolas] Anelka, for example.

"[We had Florent] Malouda, Joe Cole, [Salomon] Kalou, Michael Ballack in the middle, [Michael] Essien, Deco and at the back, Alex, [Branislav] Ivanovic, Ashley Cole.

"So the team really, really was a fantastic team. When I arrived, the team was there, I didn't build the team, so I was really excited to train these kinds of players with this kind of power. 

"Imagine when you needed to prepare set-pieces, you had John Terry, Alex, Drogba, Ballack to jump so it was not so difficult to score on set-pieces."

Carlo Ancelotti says he prefers managing in the Premier League to Serie A and feels Everton could be competitive at the top of the table soon.

Nine years after his Milan exit, Ancelotti had a spell back in his native Italy with Napoli between May 2018 and December 2019.

But he then returned to England with Everton, a move that reminded the former Chelsea boss why he prefers the Premier League.

"It is more enjoyable [managing in the Premier League], definitely," Ancelotti said to Sky Sports. "There is less pressure here from the supporters and the atmosphere is better in England.

"I came back to Italy after nine years and it didn't change a lot, the pressure is the same and with the supporters, there is a lot of violence. 

"Italian football is trying to change but it is not easy to change the culture of a country where unfortunately there is still violence and assault.

"Here in England, the people in the stadium, and I'm talking about only in the stadium, are more respectful.

"[After leaving Bayern Munich] first of all I wanted to come back to Italy. I had an experience at Napoli and it was a good experience there.

"But if I had to choose a league, I wanted to come back to the Premier League for the atmosphere you feel here and the atmosphere the Premier League has."

Everton were sitting 12th in the table when the coronavirus crisis halted Premier League action.

But Ancelotti, who signed a four-and-a-half-year deal upon his appointment, has ambitions of seeing his side compete with the likes of city rivals Liverpool and his old club Chelsea in the near future.

"The fact I had the opportunity to come to Everton was really important," he said.

"Everton is a club with a fantastic history, fantastic tradition and they have a goal to be at the top. We are trying to, if we are able after the COVID [shutdown], we will try to do our best.

"I think everyone in the club is working to try to be at the top soon. Of course, there is a lot of competition here in the Premier League but I think we have a possibility. 

"We have a good goal, we are building a new stadium so we know that behind us is fantastic supporters and fans that help us to be motivated. I think soon, we can be competitive."

Carlo Ancelotti says coaching Zinedine Zidane at Juventus changed his ideas on how to play football.

Ancelotti was in charge of the Bianconeri from 1999 to 2001 but was unable to deliver silverware beyond the Intertoto Cup despite boasting a talented squad that included Zidane, Alessandro Del Piero, Edgar Davids and Filippo Inzaghi.

However, his time with the 1998 Ballon d'Or winner helped to shape his coaching style for the remainder of a hugely successful career.

"Zidane is the first player who gave me the possibility to change the system and play in a different way," Ancelotti, now Everton boss, told Sky Sports.

"So, when I had Zidane, in the first year at Juventus, I played with a system of 3-4-1-2, having Del Piero and Inzaghi up front and Zidane a little bit behind. The second year, I played with a back four but keeping two strikers in front and one number 10, like Zidane.

"Zidane changed my idea about football. I was so focused before Juventus on 4-4-2 and after with Zidane, I changed, I wanted to put him in the best position for him, to let him be more comfortable on the pitch.

"The experience at Juventus was good in my opinion because I understood really well how the club has to work for the manager, so the club gave to me a lot of support in this. It doesn't matter if they fired me at the end of the second year, until the last day in Juventus, I understood how the club has to work for the manager, to support them, to help them in front of the players, to give the manager the power that he needs to manage the players."

Zidane went on to become Ancelotti's assistant at Real Madrid, where they ended Los Blancos' 12-year wait to be crowned champions of Europe by defeating Atletico Madrid after extra time in the 2014 Champions League final.

Ancelotti's time in Turin helped to him deliver success at the Santiago Bernabeu and learn how best to utilise the abilities of Cristiano Ronaldo and now club captain Sergio Ramos.

"The team had some problems in the past years when I arrived there," he said. "The fact that they were not able to win the Champions League for 12 years was like an obsession for them because Real Madrid was used to winning a lot of Champions Leagues.

"You don't have to build a team around Cristiano Ronaldo and as I said with Zidane, you have to put them in the more comfortable way on the pitch. I don't think you have to build strict tactics with this player defensively because there are players who are more involved in the attacking phase and there are players who have to be involved more in the defensive phase.

"Of course, they have to work together because the team is the most important part of the game, but strikers like Ronaldo who are able to score every single game, you don't have to give too much information defensively.

"It is the easiest way to be a manager, to manage a fantastic player because they are professional, they are serious, they have personality, they are motivated, so it is the easiest way.

"Sergio Ramos also has a fantastic quality. I think his best quality he has is not tactically, it's not technically, it's character and the personality that he has and the ability he has to motivate the people around him, like his team-mates. Ramos during that period was important for this, he was always at the top when the game was important and in the key moment of the games."

Former Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti says supporters of the Rossoneri should not worry about a foreign coach coming in, amid speculation surrounding Ralf Rangnick.

Experienced coach Rangnick is head of sport and development for Red Bull GmbH – the group which owns Bundesliga club RB Leipzig.

The 61-year-old German has been strongly linked with a switch to Milan, who are currently coached by Stefano Pioli, potentially in a joint sporting director and coach role.

The Rossoneri experienced a frustrating campaign prior to the suspension of the Serie A season, and sat seventh when the coronavirus pandemic halted league activity.

Ancelotti led Milan to two Champions League triumphs and a Serie A title during a 2001-09 stint in charge at San Siro.

Now manager of Everton, Ancelotti sees no reason why the next Milan coach should not come from outside Italy.

"He's a foreigner? That is nothing to worry about. Fans should be worried about poor managers. But Milan have chosen many coaches and have chosen many good ones," Ancelotti said in an Instagram Live conversation with journalist and presenter Carlo Pellegatti.

"We met when I was in Germany. I don't know him, from what I read he was in love with [Arrigo] Sacchi's Milan, but I don’t know the methodology."

In a wide-ranging interview, Ancelotti also lauded the impact Zlatan Ibrahimovic – a player he coached at Paris Saint-Germain – has made since his return to San Siro.

"I'm not surprised that he's still playing, I don't know how long he will still play," Ancelotti said of Ibrahimovic.

"His character, I like it very much. He was always very attentive to the team's needs, this is always very important for a coach."

Carlo Ancelotti believes he can emerge from the coronavirus pandemic lay-off in a healthier state than before the Premier League was paused.

The Everton manager admits he has knee issues that were only worsening during his all-consuming daily work.

But with football on hold in England and across much of the globe, former Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid boss Ancelotti is determined to do himself a major fitness favour.

Although he has Everton duties to attend to, and is devouring series on Netflix and Apple TV, Ancelotti is making the most of his chance to walk and cycle, ensuring he gets his daily permitted exercise.

“When I am working I have no time to do this, so I have problems with my knees," Ancelotti said. “I try to use this time to improve the condition of my knees. I like to hear the sound of my bike.”

Had he been in his homeland of Italy, Ancelotti would not have such freedom.

That country is on a tighter lockdown than England, and Ancelotti knows he is fortunate to have an opportunity to get out and about near his coastal Crosby home, a short distance north of Liverpool.

He stressed the need to observe social distancing while exercising.

“It is not a good time in the world, in England and Italy and around Europe, because of this pandemic," Ancelotti told Everton's official website.

"But from the other aspect, the fact we have the possibility to walk and bike is important for ourselves - it is a good time for this.

"I met some supporters out biking, from a safe distance, of course. In Italy you are not allowed to do this.

"I am in contact with a lot of people in Italy and they are forced to stay at home, so it is not a good time for them."

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."

The coronavirus pandemic continued to wreak havoc on the sporting calendar on Saturday with more major events and competitions being disrupted.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 rapidly spreading across the globe, it has resulted in the postponement of competitions worldwide as governments attempt to combat the pandemic.

A small number of events still went ahead, but sports stars, teams and indeed supporters were otherwise left to find other means of entertainment.

With the number of confirmed cases worldwide now totalling over 155,000, we round up all the latest news and updates.

 

Germany's prestige friendly with Italy later this month became the latest football fixture to bite the dust, with the majority of upcoming international matches having now been wiped out.

More major organisations have halted all footballing activities until a later date, including Qatar, Morocco and Egypt.

A small number of competitions, most notably the A-League, Russian Premier League and Mexico's Liga MX, did manage to go ahead as planned.

Indeed, NRL games also avoided the cut, as did a handful of Super Rugby matches before an indefinite ban was put in place later in the day.

Another competition to fall was Australia's one-day international series against New Zealand, which was already being played behind closed doors.

With New Zealand's government introducing strict protocols to attempt to slow the spread of the virus, the Black Caps – along with Super Rugby side Highlanders – returned home from Australia and Argentina respectively in order to beat the new restrictions, which will mean any new arrival to the country, even if they are a citizen, has to self-isolate for 14 days.

With the top-four tiers of English football being shelved until at least early April, there was plenty of focus on the National League as six games were given the green light.

There was some controversy in Argentina as River Plate's Copa Superliga clash with Atletico Tucuman was suspended after the home side refused to open their stadium.

Independiente's tie with Velez Sarsfield was played out in full, albeit behind closed doors, with the hosts claiming a 1-0 victory.

In Italy, Napoli urged their supporters to sing from their balconies in unison as Fiorentina's Patrick Cutrone and two more Sampdoria players tested positive for COVID-19.

Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy revealed a negative test result after recently self-isolating, but Carlo Ancelotti and Angelo Ogbonna questioned the Premier League's handling of the outbreak, while Jordan Pickford denied reports he is self-isolating.

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady, meanwhile, claimed the competition should be "void" – a suggestion Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher quickly dismissed.

The lack of football did not stop certain clubs from keeping supporters entertained, though, with LaLiga side Leganes posting live updates of a fictitious match against Real Valladolid, which they won 2-1.

Perhaps inspired by their Spanish counterparts, Southampton got Manchester City involved in an online game of noughts and crosses to help fill the void.

The downtime also gave football stars a chance to recuperate, with Sergio Ramos and Alexis Sanchez among those to post images of their extra-curricular activities.

Others, such as Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson and FIFA president Gianni Infantino, opted to use social media to educate their followers on how to properly wash their hands, while Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi used his profile to echo the sentiments of Cristiano Ronaldo in calling for people to follow the guidance of health organisations.

As Ronaldo and Jurgen Klopp were praised by the World Health Organisation for "protecting people from coronavirus", former United States president Barack Obama hailed a host of NBA stars – including Giannis Antetokounmpo and Zion Williamson – for donating large amounts to help support arena staff during the league's hiatus.

UFC superstar Conor McGregor labelled the pandemic "a stupid f****** virus", but later moved to clarify his aunt did not die after contracting the disease after previously suggesting as such.

And in more positive news, Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe revealed his country still plan for the 2020 Olympic Games to go ahead in Tokyo, starting in late July.

The International Olympic Committee will have the final say, but ABE is confident the Games will be staged "without problem".

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."

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."

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 lauded Carlo Ancelotti as a "fantastic manager" ahead of Everton's trip to Chelsea on Sunday, insisting the Italian will be warmly received at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues boss will again come up against a former coach of his, having got the better of Jose Mourinho's Tottenham two weeks ago.

With Chelsea buoyed by their midweek FA Cup win over Liverpool, their bid for a top-four finish in the Premier League continues with the visit of Ancelotti's side.

Asked what sort of reception Ancelotti will get on returning to the club where he won the 2009-10 league and FA Cup double, Lampard said: "A very good one. He is very well respected in-house and by the fans.

"He is a gentleman, a fantastic manager. It was a good season under him.

"He is a great man-manager. On a personal level, he's great at striking up relationships. He's good tactically and has a great manner.

"I kept in touch with him now and again."

Lampard's injury worries have showed few signs of easing, with the likes of Tammy Abraham, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mateo Kovacic, Christian Pulisic, N'Golo Kante and Callum Hudson-Odoi – the latter of whom suffered a fresh setback on his return to training – definitely sidelined.

Willian will be assessed after suffering an Achilles injury against Liverpool, having opened the scoring in that game. 

On the setback for Hudson-Odoi, who will undergo a scan on Friday, Lampard said: "It's tough, he wasn't rushed back, we had all the signs that he was fit to train. Then he re-injured it on his first training session with us.

"So it's frustrating for him definitely, a young boy who's keen to play, as you'd expect, and it's frustrating because it's another injury to us.

"It hasn't been spoken about that much, but we've had probably the worst injury list of certainly the top group of the table I think, lots of numbers injured, important players injured, Kante, Loftus-Cheek etcetera.

"We started the season that way and it's happened again in the middle of the season, and we're working against that to try to get the best results."

Fourth-placed Chelsea, who are three points clear of Manchester United and Wolves, were beaten 3-1 at Goodison Park in December, when Duncan Ferguson was in charge of the Toffees on a temporary basis.

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