Chelsea Wasteful Despite Win, Hazard Ends Goal Drought

Chelsea named a strong side, with only Ruben Loftus-Cheek not a Premier League regular, but the Blues were wasteful in front of goal against a side struggling in the Championship, having 15 efforts in the first half.

A tame Diego Costa effort was foiled by Martin early on and Oscar missed two decent opportunities before scoring his first – a tap in after Costa’s persistence.

Martin, whose defence struggled to cope with the sheer pace of Chelsea’s attacks, pulled off a fine save when Oscar played into an unmarked Diego Costa on the edge of the six yard box but his effort was tame.

After Potter’s strike looped off Matic and over Courtois, Costa missed with the goal gaping from a ball into the middle.

But Oscar finally had his side in front again when Loftus-Cheek’s past split the defence and the Brazilian finished with aplomb before making it 3-1 before the break with a strike from outside the box.

Meanwhile, Hiddink chose to give Belgium international Hazard, who has recovered from a groin injury, his first start since 3 January, hoping last season’s Premier League player of the year would end a run of 28 games without a goal.

Hazard linked well with left-back Baba Rahman throughout – causing Jordan Spence no end of problems – but it looked like that goalless streak would continue when Dons goalkeeper David Martin somehow kept him out when one-on-one in the first half.

However, in the second half, Hazard drew a foul in the box from Potter and calmly placed the ball the other side of Martin.

Asked why Hazard instead of Oscar took the penalty, Hiddink said: “They decided themselves because we have this hierarchy of the penalties. Oscar gave it to Eden as everyone knows he has not scored for a long time.”

Hazard, 25, then chased down a long ball up field to lay the ball into the path of Traore to strike home before being replaced by Pedro shortly afterwards for a morale boosting performance.


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