Chelsea win, woes for Liverpool
Cesc Fàbregas got himself on the score sheet, along with Eden Hazard and Marcos Alonso, as Chelsea cruised to a comfortable 3-1 win over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League yesterday.
It was not the case with Liverpool, who suffered a 2-0 defeat at Hull City.
Harry Kane scored from the penalty spot as second-placed Tottenham Hotspur overcame Middlesbrough 1- 0 at White Hart Lane to close the gap at the top to nine points.
At Stamford Bridge Arsenal began the match well and had an early chance after a sketchy pass from Thibaut Courtois to David Luiz nearly let Alex Iwobi in, but the winger’s shot took a deflection and bounced just wide of the post.
After weathering the initial pressure, Chelsea grew into the game. The Blues looked particularly dangerous down the right flank and that’s exactly where the goal came from in the 13th minute.
Pedro produced a cross for Diego Costa, but his header bounced up off the crossbar. But Alonso won an aerial challenge with Héctor Bellerín to head the rebound into the back of the net and put Chelsea 1-0 up.
The Blues should have doubled their lead around the half-hour mark after Courtois launched a brisk counter-attack with some fine distribution play. The keeper set his team attacking with an ambitious throw to Hazard, who broke forward before playing in Costa.
The home side had a two-on-one overlap with Pedro to the right of Costa, but the Brazilian selfishly tried to take the man on instead of playing the ball beyond him and was tackled ending the chance – much to Pedro’s disgust.
Chelsea were back on the front foot after the break and were 2-0 up eight minutes after the restart through a fabulous individual effort from Hazard. The Belgium international picked up the ball in his own half and went on to dribble past three defenders before wrong-footing another in the box and dinking the ball over a sprawling Petr Čech’s legs.
Ultimately, the Blues proved too strong for their London rivals and were gifted a third goal in the 85th minute by their former goalkeeper. Čech played a poor clearance into the middle of the park for Fàbregas, who controlled the ball well before lifting it over the retreating goalkeeper and into the back of the net to put the result beyond doubt.
There was a brief moment of consolation for the away side with Nacho Monreal lifting a cross into the box one minute into injury time. Olivier Giroud did what he does best by powering a header past Courtois.