English Premiership

Chelsea in cruise control

2014-11-22 19:15
Diego Costa (AP)

London - Diego Costa struck his 11th goal in 10 Premier League games as leaders Chelsea cruised to a comfortable 2-0 home win over 10-man West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Costa put the hosts on course for victory in the 11th minute and Eden Hazard added a second in the 25th minute, shortly before Claudio Yacob was dismissed for an ugly, two-footed lunge on Costa.

The one-sided win extended Jose Mourinho's side's lead at the head of the table to seven points, 48 hours before second-place Southampton travel to Aston Villa.

And the manner of victory only reinforced the growing consensus that the title is destined to end up at Stamford Bridge next May.

Costa and Cesc Fabregas had both been left out of the Spain squad for the recent international break to allow them to recover from niggling injuries.

Speaking before the game, Mourinho claimed Costa was now free of his hamstring and groin problems and ready to play a full role in the crowded schedule leading up to the turn of the year.

And the striker appeared ominously sharp right from the opening moments of the game as Chelsea simply swept West Brom aside.

It had taken a controversial late penalty from Hazard to deny Albion a deserved victory in last season's corresponding fixture, but 12 months on, there was never any doubt Chelsea would secure the three points.

The home side would have been ahead within five minutes but for the sharp reactions of West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster, who stuck out a leg to repel John Terry's close-range effort.

Foster would continue to play a major role in the visitors' efforts to keep Chelsea at bay.

But the England man had no chance with the 11th-minute opening goal, which demonstrated why Chelsea have been so formidable in attack this season.

Oscar collected the ball wide on the left and, seeing Costa free in space near the penalty spot, picked out his team-mate with a superb cross that the striker collected on his chest before volleying home.

It seemed only a matter of time before a second goal came along, despite the best efforts of Foster, who produced a full-length save to block Oscar's powerful shot.

Chelsea's passing and movement were outstanding, with Fabregas, Willian, Oscar and Hazard combining to repeatedly expose the West Brom back-line.

The last thing Alan Irvine's side needed, then, was to gift the home team the opportunity to double their lead from a 25th-minute corner.

But when Stephane Sessegnon failed to track Hazard's run towards the near post, the Belgium winger was able to collect Fabregas's corner unchallenged and drill the ball beneath Foster via a slight deflection.

Things went from bad to worse for the visitors when Yacob conjured an even more spectacular act of self-destruction that forced his side to play for 61 minutes with 10 men.

West Brom were facing humiliation, but they were spared by Chelsea's failure to go for the kill after the break.

Nemanja Matic volleyed over when he should have scored after being picked out by yet another fine Oscar pass and Foster again saved well from Hazard.

But Mourinho's side were also guilty of over-elaborating in the final third of the pitch and failed to translate their territorial dominance into more goals.

English Premiership results:


Saturday:

Stoke City 1-2
Burnley
Manchester City 2-1
Swansea City
Everton 2-1
West Ham United
Leicester City 0-0
Sunderland
Newcastle United 1-0
Queens Park Rangers
Chelsea 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
Arsenal v Manchester United - 19:30

Sunday:

Crystal Palace v Liverpool - 15:30
Hull City v Tottenham Hotspur - 18:00

Monday:

Aston Villa v Southampton - 22:00

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Sunday, 24 February 2019
Chelsea v Brighton & Hove Albion, Stamford Bridge 14:00
Arsenal v Southampton, Emirates Stadium 16:05
Manchester United v Liverpool, Old Trafford 16:05
Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Cardiff City v Everton, Cardiff City Stadium 21:45
Leicester City v Brighton & Hove Albion, King Power Stadium 21:45
Huddersfield Town v Wolverhampton Wanderers, The John Smith's Stadium 21:45
Newcastle United v Burnley, St. James' Park 22:00
Wednesday, 27 February 2019
Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Southampton v Fulham, St. Mary's Stadium 21:45
Liverpool v Watford, Anfield 22:00
Manchester City v West Ham United, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Crystal Palace v Manchester United, Selhurst Park 22:00
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur, Stamford Bridge 22:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2018/19 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.