Sunday 18 February 2018

Eden Hazard leads way as Chelsea win at Bournemouth

Chelsea's Eden Hazard scored his side's second goal in the win at Bournemouth
Chelsea's Eden Hazard scored his side's second goal in the win at Bournemouth

Eden Hazard's finishing masterclass dragged Chelsea ever closer to the Premier League title as the Blues saw off Bournemouth 3-1 at Dean Court.

The leaders maintained their seven-point cushion over Tottenham in all the style befitting champions-elect, and now need at the most 15 points from seven matches to seal the silverware.

Diego Costa's woeful fly-hack forced an own goal from Adam Smith to hand Chelsea the lead in the final match of the day, before Hazard outfoxed Artur Boruc for his 14th Premier League goal of the season.

Joshua King's deflected strike handed Bournemouth hope of a recovery, before Marcos Alonso's curling free-kick sealed Chelsea's fifth win in six matches.

Spurs had earlier closed the gap on the Blues to four points with a 4-0 defeat of Watford at White Hart Lane in the first match of the day.

Mauricio Pochettino's team took control of the contest in 11 first-half minutes, when Dele Alli, Eric Dier and Son Heung-min scored.

Alli broke the deadlock with a curling right-foot strike in the 33rd minute, Dier blasted in the second six minutes later, before South Korean Son scored with another effort from distance, a low left-footed shot.

Son tapped in Kieran Trippier's cross 10 minutes into the second half to complete the scoring, although there was another big cheer when Harry Kane returned from injury as a substitute just past the hour mark.

Liverpool held on to third place with a 2-1 win at Stoke, where they came from behind to get the three points.

Jonathan Walters headed a close-range goal from Xherdan Shaqiri's cross to give Stoke a 44th-minute lead, prompting Reds boss Jurgen Klopp to make changes at half-time.

Philippe Coutinho volleyed a 64th-minute equaliser, before fellow substitute Roberto Firmino gave Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant no chance with another volley two minutes later.

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet had a hand in preserving the three points for the visitors with a good save to deny Saido Berahino soon after.

Manchester City stay fourth after a comfortable 3-1 defeat of Hull at the Etihad Stadium.

City took the lead just past the half hour when Jesus Navas' cross was turned into his own net by Ahmed Elmohamady, then Sergio Aguero doubled the lead three minutes into the second half.

Fabian Delph wrapped up the win in the 64th minute with a well-struck 20-yard effort, before Andrea Ranocchia pulled a goal back for the strugglers with five minutes remaining.

West Ham eased their relegation fears with a 1-0 win over struggling Swansea, with Cheikhou Kouyate making the decisive breakthrough with a low shot just before half-time.

Southampton reached the 40-point mark as Jordy Clasie's well-struck 25th minute goal gave them victory by the same margin at West Brom.

However, second-bottom Middlesbrough were frustrated by Burnley, with the Clarets' Robbie Brady wasting the game's best chance in the 56th minute of the goalless draw on Teesside.

Press Association

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