Hazard, Costa give Chelsea 2-0 win over Hull
LONDON (AP) — Eden Hazard and Diego Costa scored as Premier League leaders Chelsea responded to its first loss of the season with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Hull.
Hazard scored his eighth goal of the season in the seventh minute, and Hull midfielder Tom Huddlestone was dismissed on the hour after being shown a second yellow card for a reckless studs-up challenge on Filipe Luis.
Hazard then turned provider in the 68th as Costa scored his first goal in five games to seal the win. It came a week after Chelsea’s unbeaten start to the season was ended by Newcastle.
Chelsea remains three points ahead of Manchester City, which won 1-0 at Leicester.
Less than seven minutes were on the clock when Chelsea opened the scoring. A clumsy challenge by John Obi Mikel on Sone Aluko was missed and play continued, with the ball sprayed out wide to Oscar whose cross was nodded home by Hazard.
It was a bad start which soon got worse for Hull as injury forced Steve Bruce to bring on son Alex in place of the injured Michael Dawson.
Hull responded fairly strongly considering those early blows, with Jake Livermore flashing a strike wide before Aluko missed the target in a move started by Mikel being dispossessed. But Hull midfielder David Meyler was booked after a comical attempt to hook a corner back into play with a hand, before Chelsea counterpart Willian was booked for taking a tumble as play became stretched.
Epitomizing a scrappy first half, Chelsea defender Gary Cahill was also booked after a late lunge which saw Aluko require treatment.
Chelsea’s sloppy performance continued in the second half, with Livermore firing just wide from the edge of the box after some intricate passing.
Jos Mourinho’s side was creating few chances and perhaps that was behind Cahill’s apparent dive in the box. Hull had expected Chris Foy to hand the center back a second booking, only to be incensed when the referee pointed for a goal kick.
Hull players harangued Foy, who was soon under pressure from Chelsea after Alex Bruce smashed through Willian. Bruce was only given a booking — the same punishment dished out to Costa for diving soon after, despite having clearly been caught by Huddlestone.
One decision Foy definitely got right, though, was the red card shown to Huddlestone.
With an extra man, Chelsea went further in front. Hazard followed a long run by playing a lovely one-two with Branislav Ivanovic, before putting through Costa to turn home.
Oscar and Cahill saw efforts blocked in quick succession, before Ivanovic fired over. Substitute Andre Schurrle twice saw efforts blocked as the clock wound down.