No Costa, No Problem! Chelsea Thrash Bournemouth 3-0 Without Talisman

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Chelsea thrash Bournemouth 3-0 on boxing day to extend its Premier League winning run to a club-record 12th consecutive win.

Chelsea were without arguably the two most important players in Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante, which many feared would lead to a lack of firepower to beat the side that won last year’s fixture.

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Chelsea coach Antonio Conte switched to a false nine system with Belgian winger Eden Hazard spearheading the attack.

Cesc Fabregas got reinstated in midfield alongside Nemanja Matic mirroring the 2014-15 title winning combination.

Spanish forward Pedro Rodriguez, however, grabbed the headlines scoring twice with the first one coming in the 24th minute.

A combination of short, sharp passes between Hazard and Fabregas found Pedro on the edge of the penalty area, who calmly controlled before curling a beautiful left-footed shot beyond the despairing dive of Artur Boruc.

On loan Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere forced an unlikely save from Thibaut Courtois before volleying wide when he looked set in front of goal.

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After the break, Chelsea began ferociously and were almost immediately rewarded when Hazard was tripped by Bournemouth captain Simon Francis in the area.

12th Consecutive Win

The rejuvenated Belgian picked himself up and took the resulting spot kick to double the home side’s advantage, claiming his ninth goal of the season.

Hazard and Chelsea controlled proceedings soon afterwards playing the most attractive football the Stamford Bridge faithful have ever seen.

Willian, Victor Moses and Hazard were guilty of not taking their chances which could have easily seen the scoreline turn to that of a tennis match.

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Pedro finally added a third in the final seconds of the game after twisting and turning before hitting a bobbled shot via a huge deflection off Steve Cook.

Chelsea’s 12th consecutive win cements the Premier League top position after 18 games with 7 points between separating them from Manchester City which lead the chasing pack of title hopefuls.