Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City: Eden Hazard double seals win for Blues
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 06/04/17 5:37pm
Chelsea maintained their seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League as Eden Hazard scored twice in a 2-1 win over Man City on Wednesday.
A mistake by Willy Caballero allowed Hazard to open the scoring on 10 minutes before Thibaut Courtois' error led to a swift equaliser for Sergio Aguero.
Chelsea went back ahead thanks to Hazard, who converted the rebound after Caballero saved his spot-kick following Fernandinho's trip on Pedro.
Courtois denied Aguero and John Stones miscued over the crossbar in stoppage time as City pushed for a leveller but ultimately came up short.
The victory sees Chelsea take a big step towards the Premier League title but Tottenham's late comeback at Swansea ensures their lead at the summit remains seven points.
Defeat for City means they miss the chance to move into third place and instead stay four points clear of Arsenal and Manchester United in fifth and sixth respectively.
It also means Chelsea become the first team to do the league double over Pep Guardiola in a single season in his managerial career.
The City boss sprang two surprises as Vincent Kompany made his first appearance since January and Fabian Delph was handed his first league start of the campaign.
Antonio Conte made just one change from Chelsea's shock home defeat to Crystal Palace, bringing in Kurt Zouma for Nemanja Matic, and the hosts made the perfect start.
It came courtesy of poor goalkeeping from Caballero, who failed to react when Hazard's low strike deflected off Kompany.
But the visitors responded well and Aguero levelled midway through the half.
A poor clearance by Courtois put Chelsea under pressure and when the goalkeeper kept out David Silva's initial effort, Aguero was on hand to turn home.
It was a deserved equaliser for City, who also went close through Leroy Sane before Hazard grabbed a second 10 minutes before half-time.
Fernandinho had no complaints when he tripped Pedro in the box, with Caballero's save giving the fortunate Hazard a second chance to spare his blushes.
The second half followed a similar pattern as City enjoyed the majority of possession but struggled to break down a stubborn Chelsea rear-guard, bolstered by the half-time introduction of Matic.
Kompany struck the crossbar with a looping header and Fernandinho blazed over on the volley but Chelsea looked comfortable until the final stages.
They could have wrapped up the win earlier had Hazard not squandered a golden opportunity for his hat-trick with 15 minutes remaining.
Instead, Raheem Sterling and Nolito entered the fray and Guardiola's reinforcements made a difference as City wasted two guilt-edged chances in added time.
Courtois saved smartly from Aguero at the back post and Stones contrived to slice over from the resulting corner as Stamford Bridge breathed a sigh of relief.
They continue their quest for a second title in three years at Bournemouth on Saturday, while Man City host Hull City.
Chelsea: Courtois (6), Zouma (6), Luiz (8), Cahill (8), Azpilicueta (7), Kante (7), Fabregas (8), Alonso (7), Pedro (7), Costa (8), Hazard (8)
Subs used: Matic (6), Willian (6), Loftus-Cheek (6)
Manchester City: Caballero (6), Clichy (6), Stones (7), Kompany (7), Fernandinho (6), Delph (6), Sane (6), Silva (7), De Bruyne (6), Navas (6), Aguero (7)
Subs used: Sterling (6), Nolito (6)
Man of the match: Eden Hazard