Chelsea 3 Bournemouth 0: Record-breaking Blues march on

Antonio Conte's league leaders - who put the pressure back on the chasing pack - shrugged off the absence of suspended talisman Diego Costa to cap off the the year with a win.


Pedro celebrates after scoring Chelsea's third goal.

Pedro netted twice as Chelsea claimed a club-record 12th successive top-flight victory with a 3-0 home triumph over Bournemouth to continue its Premier League title charge on Monday.

Antonio Conte's league leaders - who put the pressure back on the chasing pack - shrugged off the absence of suspended talisman Diego Costa, with replacement Pedro's stunning first-half goal setting them on their way.

The Cherries, who won at Stamford Bridge last season, were a match for their high-flying hosts in the first half, but saw Jack Wilshere twice denied from good positions.

And Chelsea, which has won the title on each of the previous four occasions it has topped the table at Christmas, extended its lead in the 49th minute courtesy of Eden Hazard's penalty.

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Eddie Howe's side dug in to limit the damage and was not without chances of its own, but Pedro struck again in stoppage time to add some gloss to the scoreline.

The Blues are, temporarily at least, nine points clear at the summit, though that will be cut if Manchester City, who faces Hull City later on Monday, or Liverpool triumph in their next fixtures.

With Costa and N'Golo Kante banned, Pedro and Cesc Fabregas filled in as Michy Batshuayi was again left on the bench.

It was a quick-thinking Fabregas who lofted a free-kick into the path of Pedro, forcing Simon Francis to make a timely intervention inside the opening five minutes.

Hazard called Artur Boruc into action after quarter of an hour with a low drive that was always well within the goalkeeper's reach.

The host continued to look the more threatening and Pedro cut in from the left before firing wide with a swerving effort across the face of goal.

The breakthrough came at the end of a well-worked move, finished by Pedro when he curled a superb strike over Boruc from the edge of the box for his fourth goal in the last five matches at Stamford Bridge.

Bournemouth produced a spirited response and Thibaut Courtouis had to make a smart near-post save to deny Wilshere a prompt leveller.

The Arsenal loanee also saw a volley deflected wide on the half-hour mark, while Fabregas lifted a set-piece just over the crossbar at the other end.

Conte was afforded a more restful second half after Francis felled Hazard in the box and the Belgian put the spot-kick away for his 50th Premier League goal.

A Victor Moses half-volley flashed wide of Boruc's right-hand upright as Chelsea sought to put the game beyond Bournemouth's reach.

It was not all good news for the Blues, though, as Pedro's yellow card earned him a suspension for the New Year's Day visit of Stoke City.

Indeed, it could have been in for a nervy final 18 minutes had Courtois not made a fine stop from Benik Afobe after the substitute went through one-on-one.

But that was as close as Howe's charges came to setting up a grandstand finish, with Chelsea ending 2016 on a high as Pedro's deflected effort rounded off a swift counter-attack and made it 3-0.

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