Chelsea bounced back from their midweek disappointment as they secured a commanding 1-0 win over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Chelsea 1 Manchester United 0
Bakayoko misses early chance
Lukaku denied by Courtois
Morata heads Blues in front
Courtois keeps out Fellaini
Antonio Conte’s side had suffered a 3-0 defeat at Roma in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, but they responded like the champions they are as Alvaro Morata’s second-half header gave them a deserved victory.
United were made to do a lot of defending and they were second-best on the day as Manchester City went eight points clear of them at the top of the standings, with the Blues only a point behind in fourth place.
The hosts made a bright start as N’Golo Kante forced David De Gea into a low save from 22 yards out after Cesc Fabregas played a short free-kick to him in the second minute.
They found the back of the net five minutes later when Phil Jones diverted Marcos Alonso’s cross into the top-left corner of the goal, although the referee blew up Morata for a push on the defender.
United went up the other end and Marcus Rashford headed over Ashley Young’s cross to the back post, but the Blues should have taken the lead on 12 minutes when Tiemoue Bakayoko side-footed wide from eight yards out after Davide Zappacosta’s cross dropped into his path.
Bakayoko saw another effort deflected wide by Eric Bailly soon afterwards, while good work from the visitors on the right flank led to Romelu Lukaku getting off a shot that Thibaut Courtois parried away at his right post on 16 minutes.
De Gea had to be alert to keep out Hazard’s firm strike from 19 yards out after the Belgian cut inside from the right in the 18th minute, with Fabregas hitting the side-netting on the follow-up.
The Red Devils went on to contain the defending champions, who only managed three more efforts in the first half – tame long-range strikes from
Morata and Zappacosta, before Andreas Christensen headed over from a corner.
The Blues were quickly on the attack in the second half, with Morata shooting wide on the turn in the 48th minute, but they didn’t have to wait long for the opening goal as the Spaniard steered Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross into the top-right corner of the net seven minutes later.
A rare chance for United saw Ander Herrera volley well wide of the target from a cleared corner in the 69th minute. However, they were being kept on the back foot and a mistake from Marouane Fellaini let in Bakayoko, who advanced on goal before firing wide of the right post on 75 minutes.
Hazard tested De Gea moments later as he pounced on a loose ball and made his way to the edge of the box before hitting a low shot that the keeper saved at his right post, while substitute Antonio Rudiger went close with a cross from the right that drifted inches wide of the far post on 79 minutes.
Late pressure from the visitors resulted in a couple of chances, with Rashford flashing a shot narrowly wide of the left post on 87 minutes after latching onto a cleared corner, before Fellaini was denied by Courtois at close range at the death.