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January 11, 2014
• Kingston Communications Stadium, Hull
Referee: M. Clattenburg
• Attendance: 24924
E. Hazard 56'
Fernando Torres 87'
That is it from me, Tom Webber, for this afternoon. It has been an absolute pleasure to guide you through this encounter.
FULL TIME - Hull 0-2 Chelsea: Goals from Hazard and Torres, along with Cech's club-record breaking 209th clean sheet, secure all three points for Mourinho's men. It was an unspectacular display but the Blues eventually wore down their opponents to secure a valuable win which sees them return to the top of the league. Though they may move straight back down depending on the results of Arsenal and Manchester City this weekend.
90' + 3'
The final whistle goes and Chelsea temporarily move to the top of the table.
90' + 3'
Huddlestone has a strike at goal from distance but that was never going to test Cech as he watched it sail well off target.
90' + 1'
We are into the first of an additional three minutes.
Fryatt picks out Sagbo in the box with a cute pass but Terry intercepts his cross into box. Hull have struggled to find a way through their opponents this afternoon.
That was just Torres' fourth Premier League goal this season, but it caps an efficient display from Chelsea. Mourinho looked delighted when that one went in.
Goal Fernando Torres
GOOOOOAAAL!! TORRES SEALS IT! The Spaniard has kept working all afternoon despite not having much luck, and he shows a great turn of pace to breeze past Alex Bruce before sliding a shot into the bottom corner at the near post.
The free kick is taken quickly and Torres is played in behind the defence on the near side. He looks to bend a cross into the box with the outside of his right boot but he fails to pick out a blue shirt.
Willian wins a free kick on the half-way line from Livermore which helps relieve the building pressure on his team-mates. Chelsea need to get the ball down the field and try to slow the tempo.
Yellow Card Maynor Figueroa
Hazard lets out an almight yelp after being clattered by Figueroa from behind. The defender is shown a yellow card and the Belgian returns to his feet and will be able to continue.
Hull have certainly become more adventurous in the last few minutes and if Chelsea sit back they will have to soak up this pressure for the remainder of the game. Sagbo finds space to shoot from distance but his effort is deflected away from goal by Terry. The Tigers claim for handball, but that would have been incredibly harsh had it been awarded.
John Obi Mikel
Mourinho replaces Oscar with John Obi Mikel for the closing stages. The Portuguese clearly wants his side to hold onto this one-goal lead until the whistle.
That is a fantastic ball in from the right by El Mohamady but Koren stumbles at the back post and Azpilicueta is able to head away unchallenged.
Good play from Chester and El Mohamady to push Hull forward down the right, but after Livermore joins in on the move Chelsea manage to regain possession. The visitors look to break but Hazard's attempted pass to Torres is cut out by Davies.
VITAL TOUCH FROM DAVIES!! Chelsea catch Hull on the counterattack and after Willian skips past Boyd he cuts the ball back to Oscar in the centre of the box. He sends a shot towards goal but Davies slides in and gets enough on the ball to divert it over the roof of McGregor's net.
If Hull decide to push on and look for an equaliser they risk leacing themselves exposed to the counterattack. They have to go for it though as they have nothing to lose.
An important block from Bruce stops Hazard's drilled effort from an acute angle causing any trouble. Hull have barely got out of their own half since going behind.
Yellow Card Jake Livermore
Torres wins a free kick inside the centre circle and Livermore picks up a booking for his rather cynical tackle. The Spaniard has had a tough afternoon and has not really got into any goal-scoring positions, with much of the danger coming from Oscar and Hazard.
Huddlestone goes for goal direct from the free kick but he fails to put enough dip on his shot to worry Cech.
Yellow Card Gary Cahill
Cahill picks up a booking for seding the ball out of play with his arm just outside the Chelsea box, though it looked to have come off of his shoulder and he is not happy about it.
Some lovely interplay from the Terry and Cahill down by the corner after an overhit corner sees them work space to put the ball in the box. Terry opts to lay it short for Hazard but the return pass skids out of play. Chelsea feel they deserved another corner but a goal kick is awarded.
More positive football from Chelsea in the Hull half and once more it is Willian who gets to strike the ball at goal, however he drags his effort wide of the near post.
Audacious! Willian goes for the far corner from an acute angle but he misses the target and also the players in the box. Mourinho doesn't look happy! Perhaps the Brazilian would have been better served just driving that low and into the box.
The Blues are gaining momentum from that goal as Ramires makes a great run in behind on the near side and wins a free kick off of Huddlestone. Chelsea look a different team now.
STAT: Hazard is Chelsea’s highest scoring player in the Premier League, now with nine strikes this season. The Belgian also has five assists to his name so far this term.
Assist Ashley Cole
Goal Eden Hazard
GOOOOOAAAL!! HAZARD SCORES! That is truly brilliant football from Chelsea. David Luiz finds Cole and the left-back flicks a pass into Hazard. The Belgian dribbles across the top of the box, feigning to shoot to buy some space and then firing a low shot into the bottom corner. Chelsea could be heading to the top of the table!
Mourinho has his substitutes warming up on the touchline. You would expect that if the score is the same on the hour mark than the Portuguese will likely make a change.
SAVED!! Another dipping effort from the Brazilian hits the target, but again it is close to McGregor and he manages to parry it away from the onrushing Cahill.
Handball from Alex Bruce about 20 yards from goal as he tried to half a Chelsea move into the area. David Luiz stands over the free kick again...
Ramires! That was never going to worry the keeper. Willian's cross is met by the head of his compatriot but his attempt lacked conviction and McGregor watched it go over the top.
Super play from Hazard! A long ball up top is knocked in behind the defence and Torres cushions it back for the Belgian. He skips inside two players on his way into the box but his shot is deflected wide of the near post.
Oh my, what an awful effort! From a central position, in excess of 30 yards from goal, David Luiz attempts to test McGregor but slices his shot embarrassingly high and wide.
We are back unwerway at the KC Stadium!
Welcome back! The teams are on their way back out onto the pitch now.
HALF TIME - Hull 0-0 Chelsea: The hosts have been compact and well-drilled during the first 45 minutes, and their quick pressing has made it difficult for Chelsea to break them down. Oscar had the best, and only real goal-scoring chance of the game, but McGregor was equal to it. Steve Bruce will be the happier of the two managers at the interval, but it is all still to play for in the second half. Be sure to join me for it in 10 minutes.
45' + 1'
The whistle goes to signal the end of the half.
Just one minute of time to be added on at the end of this half.
GREAT STRIKE!! David Luiz hits the ball with a punching motion from the resultant free kick and it swerves through the air as it heads to goal. Fortunately for McGregor it ends up right above him but he opts to palm it over the top rather than try and catch it.
Livermore and David Luiz contest a 50-50 and the referee awards a free kick to Chelsea. The pair have words for each other afterwards and the players swarm over, but Mark Clattenburg takes his time and talks to the two parties once tempers have settled.
Hull win a free kick in a dangerous area following a handball from Terry. Huddlestone fires an ambitious effort straight for goal but it sails harmlessly high over the target.
Another brilliant long pass from David Luiz finds Hazard out on the left but the winger must take his eye off the ball as he fails to control it, leaving it instead to run out of play for a goal kick.
Sagbo again takes a hit as he is on the receiving end of a tackle from Cole. That one was perfectly legal, as the left-back's well-timed challenge brought an end to the striker's attacking intentions.
Sagbo comes deep and looks to launch a counterattack for the hosts but he is caught late by Ramires. The referee awards a free kick and there appears to be no ill-feeling between the pair.
That was the best chance of the game and in all fairness Oscar really should have done better. The ball sat up nicely for him and he had the whole goal to aim at, but instead he placed it straight at McGregor. More brilliant play from Hazard, who has been Chelsea's best player so far, in the build-up there.
WHAT A SAVE!! That is far better from the Hull keeper! Cole scoops a pass over the defence which Hazard crosses into the centre of the box. A fortuitous deflection places the ball at the feet of Oscar on the penalty spot, with plenty of time to pick his spot. He hammers a shot on target but it is close to McGregor who makes a vital save to turn it over the top.
Hull concede a free kick on the near side and Willian swings the ball into the box. McGregor comes off his line and fails to claim it, but a touch off a blue shirt ends up seeing it go out for a goal kick. Not the most confident of goalkeeping there.
That is better from Chelsea! Hazard moves into the centre and receives the ball from Oscar. Ramires follows the pass with a bursting run and the Belgian attempts to feed his team-mate with a backheel but a touch from Figueroa takes it out of the Brazilian's path.
David Luiz steals in to win the ball on the far side and after a give-and-go with Torres he begins to drive in field. He never seems to be in total control of the ball and as Hull shirts swarm upon him he is unable to pick out another team-mate.
SAGBOOOOO! HE SHOULD SCORE! Terry is down in the corner but his casual pass out is deflected into the area where Sagbo pounces. He flings a left foot at the ball but fails to control his effort well enough to pick out the far corner, instead firing wide. That is a let off for the Blues.
Chelsea are playing too many long diagonal balls that they aren't winning at the moment. It means they are just handing possession back to the opposition far too easily. Mourinho will not be happy with how this first half has gone so far.
GOOD SAVE!! Sagbo does brilliantly, chasing a long ball down into the corner and holding up the play before picking out Livermore in the centre. The midfielder lashed a low strike towards Cech's goal but the keeper got down to it and parried the shot away.
Hazard skips away from Chester on the left and drives to towards the box. He lays the ball off for Oscar to his right but Huddlestone was back to help defend and made a crucial challenge to dispossess the former Internacional man.
That is poor from Ramires! The Brazilian played a pass straight to El Mohamady inside his own final third but was bailed out by his compatriot, David Luiz, who cleared the eventual cross from Meyler.
Hull look to break following a Chelsea corner after a couple of neat passes but El Mohamady is unable to keep the ball in play on the far side. The Tigers are certainly showing why they have been so difficult to play against at home this season.
STAT: Torres' last hat-trick for Liverpool came against Hull at Anfield at the start of the 2009-10 season. How he would love a similar return this afternoon.
Chelsea have played a number of long balls up to Torres so far this afternoon but the Spaniard does not have any runners beyond him to flick the ball onto. He voices his displeasure after the latest pass sails high over his head.
Mourinho's men are very patient in possession, but perhaps too patient. Their slow tempo will make it difficult to get past Hull, who are restricting the space for Chelsea to play in. Hazard goes down under a robust challenge from Huddlestone and the visitors kick the ball out so the Belgian can receive treatment.
El Mohamady looks to be causing Cole a bit of trouble in the early exchanges. The England international does not have the pace to match his opponent and is being attacked frequently.
Torres pulls out to the left this time and he steadily moves into the area as Alex Bruce stands him up. He eventually pulls the trigger but his effort is deflected behind off the underside of the centre-back's leg.
Chelsea manage to pen Hull back in their own final third but the sheer number of bodies makes it difficult for Chelsea to find a route through their opponents. As expected, the hosts are well-organised and frustrate the Blues.
Hull are competing well in midfield at the moment. They are closing Chelsea quickly high up the pitch but remaining difficult to break down.
The Blues fail to get the ball out of the danger area as they look to play out from the back. Hull contest possession well and eventually the ball runs loose to El Mohamady. The wing-back looses an effort at goal, finding a gap between Cahill and Terry, but Cech reads the bounce and gathers the attempt.
David Luiz comes short to pick the ball up from Cahill and he notices Hazard peeling wide on the left. The Brazilian clips a lovely pass over the top in search of his team-mate but he puts too much power behind it and the ball runs out of play.
Chelsea win the ball in the half and Hazard skips away from Livermore and looks to break. Referee Mark Clattenburg fails to get out of the way though, an inadvertently tackles the Belgian. Applause comes up from the home fans!
Oscar has already picked up the ball in space a couple of times in the Huil half and is quick to push Chelsea forward. He slips a pass out to Torres on the right but the striker is unable to find a way past Davies, though he does win a corner.
Chelsea get the ball rolling and we are underway!
Just a few moments until kick off now. We should be in for a very interesting battle this afternoon.
The teams are making their way out onto the pitch now. John Terry gets something out of the eye of Petr Cech in the tunnel beforehand as the keeper has his gloves on and cannot do it him self. Such a tender moment from the Chelsea captain! I didn't realise that was part of the job description.
Hull have not been victorious against Chelsea since October 1988. In the following 25 years, Chelsea have won seven of the nine meetings between the two clubs. They will be hopeful of maintaining such form today to keep their title bid on track.
Chelsea substitutes: Schwarzer, Bertrand, Mikel, Essien, Schurrle, Mata, Eto'o.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Luiz; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Torres.
Hull substitutes: Harper, Faye, Rosenior, Quinn, Koren, Fryatt, Graham.
Hull (3-5-2): McGregor; Chester, Bruce, Davies; El Mohamady, Livermore, Huddlestone, Meyler, Figueroa; Boyd, Sagbo.
The teams have been announced and their is a 200th Premier League appearance for Fernando Torres, who starts in attack for Chelsea this afternoon. Juan Mata takes his place on the subsitutes bench on more while Steve Bruce decides to stick with a back three today. Full line-ups coming your way.
Chelsea could temporarily move into pole position in the Premier League should they win today, but they are travelling to face a Hull team who have kept the most clean sheets at home in the league this season with six. The Tigers have also conceded just six times in front of their own fans. No walk in the park for Jose Mourinho's men this afternoon then.
Hello and welcome to this afternoon's LIVE play-by-play commentary on the Premier League meeting between Hull City and Chelsea. Both sides secure progression to the fourth round of the FA Cup last weekend, but now their focus switches back to the league. The Blues will be keen to maintain their title challenge with a win but the Tigers have been difficult to beat at home this season. My name is Tom Webber and I will be guiding you through all the action.
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