Billy Gilmour lost possession early in the second half. It was a rarity on another outstanding, dominant appearance from the Scottish teenager but his immediate reaction was to snap back into a challenge in which he ended up winning possession back from Richarlison.
That moment, not long before Willian made it 3-0, was likely instantly forgotten by most on an afternoon of so many positives but it also summed up the 18-year-old’s first Premier League start and Chelsea’s most straightforward, convincing win of the campaign.
Despite being without their three first-choice midfield players, Frank Lampard’s side set the tempo early, maintained it and never gave a tepid Everton much chance of a route back into the game.
The correlation between the scoreline, performance and Gilmour’s inclusion was clear for all to see.
He may not have found the net or provided an assist but he completed 75 of his 81 attempted passes and, really, the numbers only begin to tell the story.
The biggest difference was how much more mobile and fluid the home side’s midfield looked with Gilmour at the base of it. He never stopped moving, always looking over his shoulder, always planning the phase after next in a role that carries a significant element of danger.
“He’s receiving the ball in difficult areas on the pitch,” Lampard said. “If you don’t move it quickly, firstly you don’t get the rhythm in our play and it breaks down from, and secondly if you give it away in those areas it is dangerous.
“I was going to see a rude word there but you need … confidence to do that. Jorginho has it and Billy has it.”
After Tuesday night’s FA Cup win at home to Liverpool, in which Gilmour was named man of the match, Ross Barkley compared his young team-mate to Jorginho, who was serving the first of three games out through suspension here.
The vice-captain will also miss next weekend’s trip to Aston Villa and the Champions League round of 16 second leg away to Bayern Munich, meaning Gilmour is…