Blues take pole position

2014-01-11 23:00

Chelsea too strong for Hull

Chelsea moved to the summit of the English Premier League yesterday after recording a 2-0 victory over Hull City at the KC Stadium in Hull.

After a goalless first period, the Blues produced a much-improved second-half performance as goals from Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres clinched all three points.

The Tigers edged the first half, creating almost twice as many goal-scoring chances as their more illustrious opponents, but a lack of edge in front of goal meant the two sides went into the half-time break goalless.

The hosts started the encounter on the front foot, with Egypt international Ahmed Elmohamady seeing his seventh-minute effort saved by Blues goalkeeper Petr Cech before Yannick Sagbo saw his goal-bound effort blocked by the Chelsea back line.

Chelsea looked to hit back with two efforts of their own, but both Torres and Willian were unable to test Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor, who had his defence to thank for keeping them at bay.

The hosts continued to pile on the pressure, though, and twice went close to breaking the deadlock, with Jake Livermore’s low shot saved by Cech before Alex Bruce headed over the bar from an Elmohamady cross on 23 minutes.

The visitors’ best chances came towards the end of the first period as Oscar’s powerful shot from close range was tipped over by McGregor in the 33rd minute, while David Luiz’s free kick from 35 yards was also denied by the Scottish keeper.

The deadlock was eventually broken in the 56th minute as Hazard latched on to the ball after a neat interchange with Ashley Cole before firing a right-footed shot into the bottom right corner from just outside the penalty area.

José Mourinho’s men went close to doubling their advantage on the hour mark when Willian shot just wide with a free kick from a tight angle, and the Brazil international failed to hit the target again three minutes later with an effort from outside the box that flew wide of the left post.

It was all one-way traffic for the remainder of the match, with Hazard, Willian and Torres seeing their respective efforts blocked by a committed Hull defence.

And with the pressure growing with each attack, Chelsea eventually doubled their advantage in the 87th minute as Torres collected a pass from Willian before beating his marker and firing a low shot into the left corner from the centre of the penalty area.

The result saw the Blues take pole position in the Premier League standings, although Manchester City could move to the top today, while Arsenal will be out to regain the spot at the summit when they play tomorrow.

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