Alonso’s brilliant goal seals vital Chelsea win

Bournemouth 1 Chelsea 3

Marcos Alonso’s brilliant free-kick sealed a Chelsea victory which restored their seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

Having seen Tottenham cut the lead to four points by beating Watford earlier in the day, the Blues were two up within 20 minutes at Dean Court after Eden Hazard quickly doubled the lead following Adam Smith’s own goal.

Bournemouth battled on, with Benik Afobe hitting the post before Josh King netted shortly before half-time.

But Alonso re-established Chelsea’s two-goal cushion in emphatic fashion, taking them another step towards the title.

They would have gone behind in the second minute had keeper Thibaut Courtois not prevented a David Luiz own goal with a stunning save.

Luiz swung wildly at Ryan Fraser’s cross and was grateful to see Courtois keep the ball out of the net.

Chelsea then benefited from some good fortune to open the scoring on 17 minutes.

Victor Moses, back after missing two games with a toe injury, sent in a cross from the right towards Diego Costa, whose sliced shot ricocheted into the net off Smith.

There was nothing fortuitous about the second goal – a moment of pure class from Hazard.

N’Golo Kante found the Belgian on the left-hand side and Hazard breezed into the box before rounding keeper Artur Boruc and tucking away his 14th goal of the season.

Bournemouth refused to give up and they very nearly pulled a goal back when Afobe volleyed Charlie Daniels’ cross against the post.

The Cherries’ efforts were eventually rewarded when Afobe picked out King, whose shot took a deflection off Luiz, wrong-footing Courtois.

Bournemouth made a determined start to the second half too, with Fraser shooting narrowly wide.

But Alonso crushed their hopes – and Tottenham’s – of a comeback when he sublimely lifted the ball over the wall and in at the near post.

Boruc prevented a Chelsea fourth when he produced a fine save to deny Moses.

Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill; Moses (Zouma 90), Kante, Matic, Alonso; Pedro (Willian 87), Costa, Hazard (Fabregas 85).
Subs not used: Begovic, Terry, Chalobah, Batshuayi.