Sunday, January 12, 2014

Hazard, Torres Send Chelsea To EPL Top


Chelsea moved to the top of the Premier League after goals from Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres gave the team the three points in a 2-0 victory at Hull City.
With Manchester City playing today and Arsenal tomorrow, the Blues took advantage against Hull to go on the top temporarily. After a goalless first half, Hazard broke the deadlock 11 minutes into the second period with a low drive beyond Allan McGregor, who had an otherwise impressive game in Hull’s goal. Torres added a late second when he struck in low from 18 yards.
The win is Chelsea’s fifth in a row in all competitions. Steve Bruce made just a single change to the side who lost 2-0 to Liverpool last time out in the Premier League, George Boyd coming in for captain Robert Koren, while Jose Mourinho gave Oscar and Willian starts after starring substitute outings at Southampton on New Year’s Day.
Ahmed Elmohamady had the first chance of the match for Hull in the seventh minute, with Petr Cech getting down well to gather the Egyptian’s dipping effort from 25 yards.
The hosts had the better chances throughout the opening half-hour, with Cech into action once again in the 22nd minute, pushing the ball around his left post from a 20-yard Jake Livermore strike, while Yannick Sagbo wasted a gilt-edged chance after Boyd charged down an attempted John Terry pass in the Chelsea penalty area.
But it was Hazard who eventually netted the first goal of the match in the 56th minute, delaying his shot on the edge of the penalty area before rifling an effort into the bottom right-hand corner for his ninth Premier League goal of the season, equalling his tally from last term.
With Hull struggling to find a response, Torres extinguished their hopes of salvaging a point towards the end of normal time, taking the ball beyond Alex Bruce to slot the ball into the bottom right-hand corner, scoring in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since December 2012. Chelsea cruised to the full-time whistle to secure their fourth clean sheet in five outings – taking Cech past Peter Bonetti’s club record.

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