Chelsea cemented its grip on the fourth place in the Premier League as Kai Havertz finally delivered an influential display in a vital 2-0 win over top-four rival Everton on Monday.
Havertz has endured a disappointing first season following his £70 million move from Bayer Leverkusen last year. But the Germany midfielder was given a rare start by Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel and he responded by playing the key role in both goals.
Havertz’s shot was deflected into the Everton net for a Ben Godfrey own goal in the first-half.
The 21-year-old has not scored in the league since October but Tuchel entrusted him with an important role as Chelsea’s false nine. His intelligent movement put him in position to earn the second-half penalty that Jorginho converted.
Chelsea is now four points clear of fifth-placed Everton. The west Londoners are unbeaten in 11 games in all competitions — winning eight times — since Tuchel replaced the sacked Frank Lampard in January.
Chelsea’s renaissance under Tuchel is a credit to the former PSG boss, who is the first manager to see his side keep a clean sheet in each of his opening five home Premier League games.
On current form, Chelsea looks a good bet to qualify for next season’s Champions League via a top-four finish, while it still has aspirations to win this season’s competition after beating Atletico Madrid 1-0 in the last 16 first leg.
Everton’s first away league defeat since November was a significant blow to its hopes of a top-four place.
In Serie A, Inter Milan moved six points clear at the top after a 1-0 win at home against Atalanta.
Skriniar on target
Defender Milan Skriniar scored in the 54th minute on Monday and boosted Inter’s chances of winning its first Italian league title in more than a decade.
Inter’s seventh successive win saw it restore its healthy advantage over second-placed AC Milan. It is also 10 points clear of third-placed Juventus, which has played a match less.
Inter broke the deadlock nine minutes after the break when Atalanta failed to properly clear a corner and Skriniar fired the loose ball into the bottom left corner.
Premier League: Chelsea 2 (Godfrey 31-og, Jorginho 65-pen) bt Everton 0; West Ham 2 (Lingard 21-pen, Dawson 28) bt Leeds 0.
Serie A: Inter Milan 1 (Milan Skriniar 54) bt Atalanta 0.
LaLiga: Real Betis 3 (Iglesias 61-pen, 88, Joaquin 81) bt Alaves 2 (Joselu 12, Mendez 24).