Chelsea win, woes for Liver­pool

CityPress - - Sport -

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.

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