Eden Hazard scored his first Premier League goals of the season — in the 34th game — as Chelsea sauntered to a comfortable win in Bournemouth.
Pedro got the ball rolling after just 5 minutes and Chelsea looked in control from there, especially when Hazard netted a second. Elphick reacted instantly but Bournemouth, having little to fight for with top-flight safety confirmed, succumbed to Chelsea’s quality through late goals by Willian and Hazard.
It secures Chelsea their ninth-place finish, with little more seemingly attainable as eighth-placed Southampton are some seven points ahead, albeit having played one game more.
It was a game which highlights how frustrating Chelsea have been this season, for their managed to convert all four shots on target today into goals.
Pedro put the visitors one-up with the first attack of the game. Fabregas’ inch-perfect though-ball to Pedro looked like it would be taken as a first-time right-foot shot, but the Spaniard controlled with his left and glided it past Boruc. It was Pedro’s fifth goal in his last seven Premier League appearances after netting just two in the 19 beforehand.
Bournemouth had their moments to test the makeshift central defensive partnership of Mikel and Ivanovic — an indication of how little Hiddink rates Miazga — through a corner when King was given too more room.
Begovic continued to make these small saves without given much of a bigger test, whilst poor Boruc just had to pick the ball out of the net, Fabregas this time finding Hazard to fire low into the corner. It ended a run of 29 Premier League games without a goal for the Belgian.
The sloppiness which characterised Chelsea’s season was on show though when Bournemouth halved the deficit within seconds: Elphick climbed highest to head home a corner.
The equaliser should have come through Grabban but Begovic was on hand to stop a total Chelsea capitulation.
It should have been 3-1 either side of the break, either through Pedro or through Costa, but it would come through Willian. Fabregas was again the provider to thread the ball to Willian who flicked the ball over Boruc. It was the second time Fabregas has assisted three or more goals in a Premier League game.
Hazard, not content with one, tapped home his second after good work by Matic on the by-line to make it four.
Chelsea may have handed in their Premier League trophy from last season, but they will surely have a good say in who succeeds them, knowing a win in the next fixture against Tottenham will grant Leicester the deserved crown.
What are your thoughts from the game? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below!
Man of the Match
CESC FABREGAS: On his day, this man can be a magician, dictating play and it shows by recording a hat-trick of assists. His partnership with Costa was well-documented but today the assists were for Willian, Pedro and Hazard, such is Fabregas’ ability to just find a good pass when it requires one. However he needs more of these types of performances against the bigger teams, and question marks remain about whether he better suits as an attacking midfielder or a deep-lying one. 8/10
Hiddink was pleased: “It was good discipline and good to see some players who have been absent recently, scoring goals. We worked with Eden Hazard for the last 10 days, his movement was good and we talked about playing him for 45 minutes or perhaps more, but in the end he was enjoying it and he came through the whole game.”
Howe was resigned: “We created a number of chances but didn’t have their clinical edge. Second half, they were better and I thought Chelsea’s attitude to the game was spot on, that’s why it ended up being such a high quality game.”
Post written by Martin Li. Martin has had five years’ blogging experience, writing for the likes of Bleacher Report and SWOL. He runs his own Chelsea blog — The Chelsea Chronicle — which has match reaction and analysis from every Chelsea match. You can follow him on Twitter.
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