2017/2018 English Premier League
  • Eden Hazard (51')

Eden Hazard leads Chelsea to victory against Bournemouth

Bournemouth 0-1 Chelsea: Hazard proves decisive (2:10)

Eden Hazard provided the lone goal of the match to lead Chelsea's narrow victory over Bournemouth. (2:10)

Eden Hazard's first Premier League goal of the season eased Chelsea past Bournemouth 1-0 at Dean Court.

The Belgium international's smart strike ensured Chelsea just about kept in touch with the league's pacesetters, though the champions still trail leaders Manchester City by nine points.

Hazard rescued his side after a host of missed chances and an incorrectly disallowed goal for Alvaro Morata, with Cesar Azpilicueta ruled offside in error.

Asmir Begovic was caught out by Hazard's near-post drive, that punished Simon Francis' failed clearance without regard for Bournemouth's early-season peril at the wrong end of the table.

Bournemouth compounded their worst start to a Premier League season, and lost Jermain Defoe, Junior Stanislas and Benik Afobe to injury on a tough day for boss Eddie Howe.

Callum Wilson made his first appearance since January after successive knee surgeries, but this was a day light on plus points for the Cherries.

Josh King's absence with a back problem could now leave Wilson as Bournemouth's only fit striker -- and the former Coventry man is not yet at full fitness.

Chelsea wasted a hatful of first-half chances, but still had the officials to thank for turning round goalless.

Morata tucked away the rebound after Azpilicueta blasted straight against Begovic, but the assistant incorrectly judged the defender offside.

Chelsea had no business serving up that error as excuse for their profligacy, especially Morata, who fluffed a sitter.

Begovic passed straight to Hazard 25-yards out, and he played in Morata, but the former Real Madrid man rolled his effort wide.

Begovic saved well from Morata after a fine Hazard flick, while Tiemoue Bakayoko headed a corner straight at the home keeper.

A curiously low-key half yielded precious few openings for Bournemouth, but Afobe was left to rue a puzzling call to play in Charlie Daniels when he should have fired off a shot on goal.

He was clean through and ought to have at least tested Thibaut Courtois. Instead Daniels had to chase the over-hit pass and conjure a solid cut-back. But that delay let Chelsea reset their defence, and they duly cleared Afobe's eventual effort on goal.

An obviously struggling Defoe did not reappear after the break, and Howe pitched in Jordon Ibe rather than throw on Wilson, who continues to work back to full fitness after successive knee ligament surgeries.

The hosts started the half brightly enough, but were floored by Hazard's crisp strike. Francis bungled a clearance to gift Hazard the opening, and Begovic should not have been beaten at the near post.

Ibe should have equalised with a half volley from 16-yards, but Antonio Rudiger produced a fine block to deflect the ball over the bar.

English Premier League Standings

1 Manchester City 34 +73 90
2 Manchester United 34 +39 74
3 Liverpool 35 +43 71
4 Tottenham Hotspur 34 +35 68
5 Chelsea 34 +25 63
6 Arsenal 34 +20 57
7 Burnley 35 +3 53
8 Everton 35 -14 45
9 Leicester City 34 +2 44
10 Newcastle United 34 -8 41
11 AFC Bournemouth 35 -17 38
12 Watford 35 -18 38
13 Brighton & Hove Albion 34 -15 36
14 Crystal Palace 35 -18 35
15 West Ham United 34 -21 35
16 Huddersfield Town 34 -27 35
17 Swansea City 34 -24 33
18 Southampton 34 -20 29
19 Stoke City 35 -33 29
20 West Bromwich Albion 35 -25 25

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