Football

Chelsea punish woeful Everton at the Bridge

Chelsea lifted Antonio Conte's spirits ahead of the crucial final days of the transfer window as goals from Cesc Fabregas and Alvaro Morata sealed a comfortable 2-0 victory over woeful Everton yesterday.

Conte has spent the last few weeks grumbling about Chelsea's failure to land his top transfer targets and, with the window closing on Thursday, the Blues boss is hoping to bolster his depleted squad with several signings.

Against that troubled backdrop, it was essential Chelsea signed off before the international break with three points to keep in touch with Premier League pacesetters Manchester United.

The champions achieved that aim with ease as Fabregas opened the scoring in the first half at Stamford Bridge before Morata bagged his second goal since his club-record £58-million ($101.2m) move from Real Madrid.

Conte's men have now won two in a row following their shock opening-day defeat by Burnley, but they won't have many less demanding victories than this one against a lethargic Everton side who barely broke sweat.

Conte said: "We dominated the game, we created many chances. I saw a lot of positive things. We must be pleased."

Everton manager Ronald Koeman revealed after the match that midfielder Muhamed Besic played yesterday despite learning just hours before the match that his father had been shot.

Bosnia star Besic's dad Meho was reportedly shot in the hand and leg following a dispute in his homeland.

The 46-year-old was said to have been given emergency treatment in the Falesici neighbourhood near Srebrenik.

It remains unclear how seriously Meho has been wounded.

Besic learnt of the horrific incident as he prepared for yesterday's match, but he told Koeman that he still wanted to be considered for selection.

The 24-year-old started on the bench but came on at half-time and, in the circumstances, delivered a remarkably composed display.

Confirming the reports, Koeman said: "That's true. He spoke to his father. I don't like to talk in more detail. This is a family matter.

"We will see what happens after the game. I don't know exactly what happened, but what came out in the papers is true.

"When I spoke to him, he said before the game he was ready and committed." - WIRE SERVICES

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