Chelsea cut the lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League to three points after comfortably dispatching Everton at Stamford Bridge.
In a repeat of last season’s Fourth Round FA Cup tie, The Blues exacted revenge for their penalty shoot-out defeat with two first half headers from Daniel Sturridge and John Terry, before Ramires scrambled home a third.
Apostolos Vellios pulled one back with his first touch with ten minutes, left, but the effort acted as a mere consolidation rather than a catalyst for an unlikely comeback.
Andre Villas-Boas was without the suspended Fernando Torres, and found his side short on creativity in the early stages.
It took a clever ball from Ashley Cole to set the ball rolling at the Bridge, with Sturridge on the end of the left-back’s assist to open the scoring.
Everton had held stern until that moment, but were cut open once again on the brink of half-time, as Terry rose above goalkeeper Tim Howard to head home.
With an hour played, the contest threatened to turn into a rout, as Ramires stole in at the back post after Didier Drogba and the brilliant Juan Mata exchanged passes.
The introduction of two of Everton’s summer signing Royston Drenthe and Vellios sparked The Toffees into action, and the duo combined to cut the deficit just 16 seconds after the introduction of the Greek forward.
Drogba and Frank Lampard could have further extended Chelsea’s lead but eventually the hosts saw out a comfortable win to propel themselves back into the title race.
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