Eden Hazard scored his first two goals of the Premier League campaign as Chelsea returned to the winning trail with a 4-1 triumph over Bournemouth on Saturday.
- Bournemouth 1 Chelsea 4
- Pedro fires Blues ahead early on
- Hazard ends goal-scoring drought
- Elphick pulls one back for Cherries
- Willian nets Chelsea’s third
- Hazard adds second in injury time
Early goals from Pedro and Hazard handed the Blues a two goal advantage just after the half-hour mark, but the Cherries clawed their way back into the contest through Tommy Elphick’s header in the 36th minute.
However, Chelsea tightened the screws in the second half and restored their two-goal advantage through Willian, before Hazard popped up with his second goal in the closing stages of the contest.
The hosts came flying out of the starting blocks at the Vitality Stadium, but it was Chelsea who claimed the lead in the fifth minute following a quick counter-attack. Cesc Fabregas fed a pass into the path of Pedro, who took a touch to steady himself before firing past goalkeeper Artur Boruc and into the bottom-left corner.
The goal knocked the wind out of Bournemouth’s sails, but they soon recovered and went close to drawing level on more than one occasion.
Marc Pugh failed to find the mark in the 27th minute, while Lewis Grabban and Joshua King were denied by Chelsea keeper Asmir Begovic in quick succession.
Grabban then had a glorious opportunity to make amends for his earlier miss, but headed wide of the left-hand post from the centre of the box.
He was made to rue that missed chance as Chelsea went on to double their lead in the 43th minute, Eden Hazard bagging his first goal of the Premier League campaign. The Belgium international picked up the ball on the left flank before cutting inside and driving a right-footed effort into the bottom-left corner from just outside the box.
The goal sparked an instant response from the Cherries, with skipper Tommy Elphick heading home from Simon Francis’ inswinging cross in the 36th minute to give the home support reason for cheer.
Willian, Fabregas and Pedro squandered respective efforts in the closing stages of an entertaining first half, while Grabban and Junior Stanislas went close for Bournemouth.
Bournemouth started brightly after the break, with Charlie Daniels firing over from outside the box in the 49th minute.
Chelsea hit back with a number of half chances, but the Bournemouth defence did well to block efforts from Diego Costa, Fabregas and Pedro.
The Cherries then went agonisingly close to drawing level in the 66th minute as Stanislas fired a curling effort just wide of the right-hand post from outside the area.
However, in their quest to grab an equaliser, Bournemouth left some gaps at the back, and Chelsea took full advantage as Willian fired into the bottom-left corner from the centre of the box after latching onto a through ball from Fabregas.
The result was put beyond any doubt in the second minute of injury time as Hazard bagged his second of the game, converting from close range following some good work in the build up from midfielder Nemanja Matic.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 23, 2016