Hull City 0-2 Chelsea: Willian and Diego Costa fire Blues back to winning ways
By Jack Wilkinson
Last Updated: 02/10/16 2:32am
Chelsea ended a three-game winless streak in the Premier League with an assured 2-0 victory at Hull City on Saturday.
Two goals in seven second-half minutes from Willian (61) and Diego Costa (67) put the game beyond the hosts as Antonio Conte's men ended a miserable September on a high note.
The result condemns Hull to a fourth defeat in their last five top-flight games, while the Tigers remain without a win against Chelsea in nine Premier League meetings.
After drawing against Swansea and losing to Liverpool and Arsenal, a much-needed win at the KCOM Stadium moves the Blues up to sixth in the table on 13 points. Hull lie down in 15th on seven points.
Mike Phelan admitted his intention of freshening things up after four games without a win, and handed Dieumerci Mbokani, Markus Henriksen and David Meyler starts ahead of kick-off.
A similar message came from the Chelsea camp as Conte demanded a response from Saturday's heavy loss at Arsenal, but it was the hosts who made the brighter start.
Having shipped three goals at the Emirates Stadium, Thibaut Courtois had to be alert on three minutes to tip Robert Snodgrass' deflected free-kick from under his crossbar.
Hull looked to expose David Luiz's defensive frailties early on but Mbokani's heavy touch prevented the Tigers from capitalising on the Brazilian's poor positioning on seven minutes.
It took Chelsea around 20 minutes to settle into the game, but, once up to pace, their attack began to cause the hosts problems.
Victor Moses, keen to impress after demanding a spot in Conte's starting XI, was unfortunate not to win a penalty on 25 minutes when Adama Diomande's trip went unpunished by referee Antony Taylor.
An even first half ended with a flurry of chances, but neither Costa nor Ryan Mason could convert for either side as they went in at the break level.
Chelsea wrestled the initiative immediately in the second half, committing greater numbers forward more frequently and creating chances.
First, having rounded the on-rushing David Marshall, Costa saw Jake Livermore deflect his goal-bound shot onto post on 58 minutes, before N'Golo Kante blazed the rebound over.
The pressure soon told though as Costa found Willian in space on the left three minutes later, and the Brazilian cut inside to fire high past Marshall, who was rooted to his spot.
Chelsea continued to ask questions of the Hull defence and one quickly became two as Costa ruthlessly replicated Willian's finish after Nemanja Matic's shot was deflected into his path.
From that point on it was a case of how many Chelsea could get as they pilled forward in the knowledge Hull couldn't hurt them on the counter.
But, to their credit, Hull, marshalled by captain Curtis Davies, stood firm as only a late Pedro chance came close to extending the visitors' lead.
Hull: Marshall (6), Meyler (6), Davies (7), Livermore (6), Robertson (5), Snodgrass (5), Henriksen (6), Clucas (5), Mason (5), Diomande (5), Mbokani (5).
Subs used: Huddlestone (n/a), Hernandez (4), Maloney (4).
Chelsea: Courtois (7), Azpilicueta (7), Cahill (7), Luiz (6), Alonso (7), Kante (7), Matic (6), Moses (8), Willian (8), Hazard (6), Costa (8).
Subs used: Oscar (5), Pedro (5), Chalobah (n/a).
Man of the Match: Victor Moses.