Chelsea moved a step closer to the Premier League crown with a comfortable 3-1 win away at Bournemouth yesterday.
Spurs had put a little bit of pressure on their London rivals with an impressive 4-0 win at Watford to close the gap to 4 points but any hopes of a slip up were short lived. Bournemouth started well and the teams seemed evenly matched in the opening exchanges but on 17 minutes Chelsea took the lead through the kind of goal you only seem to get when you’re marching towards the title. Costa took aim but mis-kicked his effort horribly, despite that it took a wicked deflection off Adam Smith and left Boruc with no chance as it looped weakly in to the right hand corner.
They all count though and the goal helped to settle any nerves Conté’s men may have been feeling. It wasn’t long before they doubled their lead. This time there could be no accusations of luck. Kanté, imperious once again, showed that there is more to him game than disruption and destruction by playing a wonderful through ball to Hazard whose first touch was sublime. It set him on his way towards goal and his second touch was just as good, a quick shimmy took him past Boruc and despite a slight stumble he slotted home in to an empty net.
It was a classy finish from the Belgian and he, along with Kanté will surely be vying for the player of the season awards.
At 2-0 you could be forgiven for thinking that this game, and indeed the title race were all but over but Bournemouth had other ideas. They have had quite a few decent results at home this season; Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs have all endured difficult afternoons at the Vitality Stadium, leaving the South Coast without wins. On 29 minutes Benik Afobe’s effort crashed off the post having beaten Courtois and then as the half drew to a close they had their equaliser.
As Bournemouth broke, King found himself in possession out on the right and approaching the corner of the box, Chelsea had done well to get back in to position and there didn’t seem to be much on so King simply put his foot through it. The ball rocketed in to the top corner, beating Courtois at his near post. Replay’s showed a slight deflection off of Luiz but it was a great strike all the same and food for thought for both managers as they headed down the tunnel.
For Chelsea, the second half was all about killing the tie. They hogged the ball, knocking it between them easily and tiring out their hard working opponents. They might have finished it completely shortly after the hour mark had Costa put away what looked an easy chance when Marcos Alonso whipped an inviting cross across the box but the Spanish international failed to get anything on it.
Despite the miss Chelsea were dominating proceedings and they soon put the result beyond doubt. Marcos Alonso, creator of the chance moments earlier stepped up to bend a glorious free kick in to the top left corner that left Boruc rooted to his spot in the Bournemouth goal. It was a classy finish to put the icing on a classy performance from the Champions elect who saw out the rest of the game with ease.
The gap is 7 points at the top once again and it will take something spectacular to stop Conté’s men from lifting the trophy at the end of the season, Bournemouth meanwhile can take some positives from this performance but will need to regroup quickly. It’s Spurs away next week and they’re not completely out of danger just yet.
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