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Pedro Scores Brace As Chelsea Defeats Bournemouth




On a day when Chelsea were missing two of their best performers, Pedro and Eden Hazard stood up with the three goals – one in the first half and two in the second to lead the Blues to a 12th straight victory in the English Premier League – a record for the London club.

First Half

Bournemouth came to Stamford Bridge and deployed a 3-5-2 formation to combat Chelsea’s 3-4-3 and Antonio Conte made the big decision of replacing the suspended Diego Costa with Pedro, instead of £33 million summer purchase in Michy Batshuayi.

The first chance was created in the seventh minute after Cesc Fabregas took a quick free kick to free Pedro but he couldn’t get the ball under control. Hazard was buzzing across all the forward moves.

Alonso had to be alert from a Bournemouth free-kick as he got ahead of Steve Cook to clear the danger.

Arsenal loanee, Jack Wilshere clattered Hazard with his arms in what was a dangerous tackle. At the 20-minute mark, the Cherries shared possession with the home team and enjoyed holding on to ball.

The goal arrived after some intricate passing in front of the Bournemouth box between Hazard, Fabregas, who somehow found his former Barcelona teammate, who then dinked a lovely ball into the far post.

Eddie Howe’s side almost got their equaliser on 27 minutes as Wilshere maneuvered himself into a shooting position but Thibaut Courtois got down quickly to parry for a corner.

Hazard attempted a ‘Rabona’ but Artur Boruc produced a good save though the referee had blown before the shot was taken. Fabregas’ free kick scraped the cross bar with nine minutes before the end of the half.

Second half

Chelsea were two up with two minutes on the clock as Hazard rounded Simon Francis and the Bournemouth captain stuck out a leg and brought down the Belgian. The penalty was taken by the little Belgian to give Chelsea a two-goal lead and his 50th Chelsea goal.

The front three now took turns in creating chances on the break. Willian created for Hazard in the 54th minute but his shot, which was wayward almost turned into an assist for Pedro. Boruc produced another good save, this time from Willian. Then on 59 minutes, Moses teed up a shot on the edge of the box, which shaved Boruc’s right-hand post.

Pedro fouled Harry Arter on 67 minutes, which means he will be missing from the December 31 fixture at home to Stoke City.

Pedro missed another chance for his fifth league goal after another dangerous break from the Blues as Hazard sets off Pedro through the middle of the park, who rounded the defender before he fired a shot just wide of the post.

The Stamford Bridge crowd bayed for a penalty Chelsea as Hazard left Cook in a heap in the box, and then hit shot hit Dan Gosling on the chest and dribbled unto his hand but the referee waved play on.

Howe three on Junior Stanislas, Benik Afobe and Jordon Ibe, as the Cherries looked for a way back into the encounter. And Afobe must have thought he had scored when he latched on to a Wilshere pass but Courtois made a blocking save and Cesar Azpilicueta completed the clearance.

Nathaniel Chalobah came on for Willian and Ola Aina came on for Moses as Chelsea sat deep and invited Bournemouth hoping to catch them on the counter attack.

Arter had a shot from deep but it was very comfortable for Courtois. Pedro then went on a surging run and got the third when his goal-bound shot took a massive deflection off Adam Smith. That glossed a 12th successive win to take them nine points away from Liverpool, who do not play until Tuesday.