Chelsea defeat Cherries for 12th straight win

Pedro scores for Chelsea

Chelsea moved nine points clear at the top of the table by beating Bournemouth to set a club record of 12 straight Premier League wins.

Cesc Fabregas set up Pedro to break the deadlock with a deflected shot that looped into the top corner.

Eden Hazard capped an impressive display by making it 2-0 from the spot after he was brought down by Simon Francis.

Pedro added a third goal deep in injury time when his shot hit Steve Cook and the ball span over the line.

Bournemouth’s best chance saw substitute Benik Afobe denied by Thibaut Courtois but the Cherries ended up well beaten.

Manchester City can reduce Chelsea’s lead to seven points if they beat Hull later on Boxing Day.

No Costa or Kante, not much difference

Chelsea were missing two key components of their recent run, with Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante both suspended, but it made little difference.

Without Costa to lead the line, it took time for the Blues’ front three of Hazard, Willian and Pedro to hit their stride but they eventually proved an effective combination.

They were happy to swap positions throughout the game but all three caused the Cherries problems when they ran at them, especially on the break.

Kante’s absence saw Fabregas recalled to partner Nemanja Matic at the heart of Antonio Conte’s midfield.

Again they took time to settle down, giving Jack Wilshere too much room on a couple of occasions before the break, but they were far more assured after half-time.

Man of the match – Chelsea’s Eden Hazard

Chelsea forward Eden Hazard

What next?

Chelsea host Stoke on New Year’s Eve, while Bournemouth travel to Wales to face Swansea.

More to follow.

Line-ups

Chelsea

  • 13Courtois
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 30David Luiz
  • 24Cahill
  • 15Moses