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Chelsea 3-0 Bournemouth

Chelsea moved nine points clear at the top of the table by beating Bournemouth to set a club record of 12 straight Premier League wins.

Cesc Fabregas set up Pedro to break the deadlock with a deflected shot that looped into the top corner.

Eden Hazard capped an impressive display by making it 2-0 from the spot after he was brought down by Simon Francis.

Pedro added a third goal deep in injury time when his shot hit Steve Cook and the ball span over the line.

Bournemouth’s best chance saw substitute Benik Afobe denied by Thibaut Courtois but the Cherries ended up well beaten.

Manchester City can reduce Chelsea’s lead to seven points if they beat Hull later on Boxing Day.

Chelsea were missing two key components of their recent run, with striker Diego Costa and midfielder N’Golo Kante both suspended, but it made little difference.

Without Costa to lead the line, and the Blues £33m Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi again left on the bench, Antonio Conte went with a front three of Hazard, Willian and Pedro.

It took time for them to hit their stride but the three players eventually proved an effective combination.

They were happy to swap positions throughout the game but all three caused the Cherries problems when they ran at them, especially on the break.

“This is the first time we played without a real forward,” Chelsea manager Conte explained afterwards.

“We tried this in training and I think for us at the moment this situation is the best, but I don’t forget Michy because he is a young player with great talent. He is adapting to this league and its football. In the future, I trust in him.”

Kante’s absence, meanwhile, saw Fabregas recalled to partner Nemanja Matic at the heart of Antonio Conte’s midfield.

Again they took time to settle down, giving Jack Wilshere too much room on a couple of occasions before the break, but they were far more assured after half-time.

Man of the match – Chelsea’s Eden Hazard

Key stats – Conte’s fast start continues

Antonio Conte is the first Premier League manager to win 15 of his first 18 games in the competition.

Bournemouth have lost three of their past four Premier League games, conceding three goals in each defeat.

Eden Hazard is the sixth player to score 50 Premier League goals for Chelsea after Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Gianfranco Zola and Eidur Gudjohnsen.

Only Hasselbaink (84), Drogba (106) and Gudjohnsen (153) reached 50 Premier League goals for Chelsea in fewer games than Hazard (155).

Cesc Fabregas has provided 98 assists in the Premier League; only Wayne Rooney (101), Frank Lampard (102) and Ryan Giggs (162) have more in the competition’s history.

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