Chelsea answered Tottenham’s win with its own by beating Bournemouth 3-1 to restore its seven-point lead in the English Premier League on Saturday. Tottenham, Chelsea’s only remaining title rival, applied pressure by defeating Watford 4-0 hours earlier.
But Chelsea got going early through a fortuitous own goal and Eden Hazard’s calm finish.
Josh King pulled one back for Bournemouth, only for Marcos Alonso’s stunning free kick to seal victory for Chelsea.
The effectiveness of Antonio Conte’s wing backs in his preferred 3-4-3 formation was apparent once more as the returning Victor Moses played a crucial role in the opener before Alonso produced a moment of individual brilliance.
Moses, who has been absent for Chelsea’s last two games, took just 17 minutes to show his importance again as he surged down the right and centered for Diego Costa, whose miskicked effort deflected in off the unfortunate Adam Smith.
The contest appeared to be over just three minutes later when Hazard, released by N’Golo Kante’s throughball, calmly rounded Artur Boruc and finished from a tight angle to double the lead.
But Bournemouth did not lie down.
Benik Afobe struck the post with a well-controlled volley from Charlie Daniels’ cross.
Bournemouth’s luck turned just before the break when Josh King’s powerful effort from the edge of the box flew into the top corner via a deflection from David Luiz, leaving Thibaut Courtois with no chance.
The home side continued to make Chelsea uncomfortable after halftime until Alonso delivered the decisive blow in the 68th.
Costa won a free kick 25 yards out and Alonso did the rest. Boruc could only watch as the ball curled into his top corner.