Hull City bothered Chelsea all day up and down the pitch, but a pair of early goals for the Blues and a goalkeeping mistake down the stretch did the Tigers in as Loic Remy’s winner gave the league leaders all three points at the KC Stadium.
Eden Hazard converted a blistering start into an early lead for the Blues as Diego Costa touched to the Belgian before crumbling to the ground, and Hazard did the rest, cutting up the Hull back line and firing past Allan McGregor from outside the box.
Hull nearly responded just four minutes later. Abel Hernandez found himself in on goal one-on-one with Thibaut Courtois, but the Belgian ‘keeper stoned his shot with an impressive save.
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The home side would rue that miss, as Chelsea would double their lead inside 10 minutes and cap a flying start. It looked all too easy for Diego Costa, who sauntered up the left side and cut into the box before chipping an effort into the top corner from a tight angle.
Hull continued to attack as Chelsea looked porous at the back. They’d pull one back in front of the home crowd before the half-hour mark as Andrew Robertson impressively burst down the left edge, splitting defenders on the way. The 21-year-old crossed to Ahmed Elmohamady who powered it home past Courtois, producing an emphatic fist-pump from Steve Bruce.
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They’d storm all the way back level just moments later on a rare mistake from Chelsea’s young goalkeeper.
The home side continued to bomb forward and trouble the league leaders. They held much of the possession the rest of the way through the first half. They remained dangerous in the second half, and while Diego Costa was a threat for Chelsea, they again needed Courtois to come up big. Just past the hour mark, Courtois made a strong triple-save on shots from Elmohamady, Jake Livermore, and Gaston Ramirez before shouting emphatically.
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Chelsea would repay Courtois’s hard work with yet another lead. Substitute Loic Remy, who came on just a minute earlier, got a cross from Willian from point blank range, and while his weak strike was initially stopped by McGregor’s legs on the dive, the ball squirted under his body and into the net.
Hull City remained dangerous and controlled the midfield, as they did all game, but couldn’t find a final product.
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The win for Chelsea restores their six-point lead at the top of the table, while Hull remains just three points above the relegation zone.
Hull City: McGregor, Dawson, Bruce, McShane, Elmohamady, Robertson (Aluko 81′), Meyler (Quinn 80′), Livermore, Ramírez (Brady 80′), Hernández, N’Doye.
Goals: Elmohamady 26′, Hernandez 28′
Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Filipe Luis; Fabregas, Matic; Ramires (Oscar 61′), Willian (Zouma 80′), Hazard; Diego Costa (Remy 75′).
Goals: Hazard 2′, Costa 10′, Remy 77′