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Barclays Premier League

The KC Stadium (ATT 24,924) 11th January 2014 - Kick off 12:45

Hull City Hull City vs Chelsea Chelsea

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Chelsea 2

E Hazard (56)
F Torres (87)

Premier League: Chelsea beat Hull 2-0 as Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres take them top

Last Updated: 11/01/14 5:21pm

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Eden Hazard: Broke the deadlock for Chelsea with a fine goal

Eden Hazard: Broke the deadlock for Chelsea with a fine goal

Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres struck as Chelsea overcame Hull City 2-0 at the KC Stadium to go top of the Premier League.

The Blues had an opportunity to climb to the summit with Arsenal and Manchester City not in action on Saturday, and made the vital breakthrough on 56 minutes when Hazard cut inside from the left and drilled a powerful finish into the bottom corner.

Best of the match

  • Man of the match: Eden Hazard gets the nod after another dazzling display. The Belgian was a constant menace and scored the crucial opening goal.
  • Man of the match: Eden Hazard gets the nod after another dazzling display. The Belgian was a constant menace and scored the crucial opening goal.
  • Save of the match: Allan McGregor produced one of the saves of the season to keep out Oscar's effort in the first half.
  • Effort of the match: David Luiz tried his luck with a swerving free-kick from long-range in the first half and it had McGregor needing to make a smart save.
  • Talking point: Is this the kind of victory that proves Chelsea have the mettle of title winners?

Hull had carved out some good chances in a bright first half for the home side, but after Hazard's goal they rarely threatened an equaliser and it was a relatively comfortable afternoon for Petr Cech as he kept the 209th clean sheet of his Chelsea career to break Peter Bonetti's club record.

Torres then put the result beyond any doubt with a classy late run and shot to take Chelsea one point clear of the Gunners.

Hull had settled the quickest at the start, with Tom Huddlestone showing a calmness on the ball that relaxed the hosts.

It was Steve Bruce's men who had the first shot of the game in the seventh minute, but Ahmed Elmohamady's effort was never likely to trouble Cech.

The Egyptian saw plenty of the early action, three times beating Ashley Cole for pace without ever finding a cross to match.

Chelsea's first real chance saw Torres spring the offside trap but by the time he had set himself to shoot Alex Bruce was back to make the block.

By and large, though, it was Hull doing the best work. Jake Livermore had one decent effort from distance - denied by Cech after Yannick Sagbo had gamely held the ball up in the corner under close attention from Gary Cahill.

But it was Sagbo himself who had the Tigers' best chance. John Terry was the culprit, sending a reckless pass across his own area only for Livermore to partially intercept and send the ball spinning towards Sagbo.

The Ivorian shot first time from 10 yards but missed the target and spared the Chelsea captain's blushes.

The visitors were stronger after that and were only denied a goal of their own by a remarkable Allan McGregor save.

Ramires' deft chip gave Hazard room to place his cross from the byline and when it reached Oscar close to the penalty spot, the Brazilian seemed certain to convert.

In truth he did little wrong, shooting powerfully towards the roof of the net, but McGregor reacted superbly to divert the ball over the crossbar.

The Scotland keeper was required again just before the break when David Luiz's swerving free-kick threatened to creep under the crossbar and the half-time whistle came as a welcome break for the hosts.

Hazard emerged as the man most likely to get Chelsea on the scoresheet as the second period began, beating two men on his way into the area and winning a corner before helping earn a dangerous free-kick.

Luiz aimed for the near side of goal but again found McGregor alert to the danger.

Hazard eventually took the responsibility himself. Luiz and Cole played him in after a neat combination on the left and the Belgian produced what is fast becoming his trademark finish.

He cut inside twice to create his preferred angle, wrongfooting the Hull defence and leaving Bruce sprawling, before clinically finding the bottom corner.

The game was not without entertainment in the final half hour, but there was an unavoidable sense that Hazard's effort had settled things.

A Huddlestone free-kick was Hull's likeliest chance but came to nothing, while Chelsea had plenty of possession in the final third and should have made life easier on themselves.

Willian, in particular, sparked into life and began picking holes in the Tigers defence.

Oscar was denied a near-certain goal for the second time in the match when Curtis Davies deflected his close-range effort over but Torres did make sure in the 87th minute.

He had enough pace to jockey Bruce out of position as he bore down on goal and finished crisply to secure the points.

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Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 12 32
2 Southampton 12 26
3 Manchester City 12 24
4 Manchester United 12 19
5 Newcastle United 12 19
6 West Ham United 12 18
7 Swansea City 12 18
8 Arsenal 12 17
9 Everton 12 17
10 Tottenham Hotspur 12 17
11 Stoke City 12 15
12 Liverpool 12 14
13 West Bromwich Albion 12 13
14 Sunderland 12 13
15 Crystal Palace 12 12
16 Aston Villa 12 12
17 Hull City 12 11
18 Leicester City 12 10
19 Burnley 12 10
20 Queens Park Rangers 12 8

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