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Chelsea beats Hull 2-0 in Premier League

January 11, 2014

HULL, England (AP) — Eden Hazard underlined his increasing value to Chelsea by setting the team on its way to a 2-0 win at Hull on Saturday and top spot in the Premier League overnight.

The Belgium winger broke down Hull’s impressive resistance with a skillful 57th-minute effort at KC Stadium, taking the Blues’ top scorer to nine league goals.

Fernando Torres marked his 200th Premier League appearance with the second three minutes from time as Chelsea climbed above Arsenal and Manchester City, who play on Monday and Sunday respectively, to sit a point in the lead.

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech set a club record of 209 clean sheets but the star of the show again was Hazard, who Jose Mourinho said this week wouldn’t be sold even for 100 million pounds ($165 million) amid reported interest from Paris Saint-Germain.

“The club made that decision because every manager wants a player like him,” Mourinho said. “I’m not expecting to put too much pressure on him or for him to be the man of the match every game, but what I expect from him is his motivation, his commitment, his responsibility.

“This season I think you are watching a much more mature player and because of that he is becoming a fantastic player.”

Oscar saw his close-range shot saved fabulously by Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor in the best chance of an even first half, but Chelsea was in a different class after the break.

Hazard provided the cutting edge, as he has so often this season, when he cut inside twice to create his preferred angle — wrongfooting the Hull defense and leaving Alex Bruce sprawling — before clinically finding the bottom corner.

Torres scored for the second straight league game when he beat Bruce, bore down on goal and finished neatly. It sealed a fourth straight league win for Mourinho’s side, which looks certain to be a contender for the title.

“Now we’re top of the league for the first time in a long time and hopefully we can stay there,” Cech said. “We hope to keep going. We are getting better and today was a very difficult game. But we were very solid and good in attack and that’s why we score goals.

“We are a young team and hopefully we can take advantage of that.”

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