Chelsea showed the grit of champions to grind out a 3-1 win over Swansea City at Stamford Bridge this afternoon.
The Blues are now 11 points clear at the top off the Premier league table after goals from Spanish trio Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Diego Costa sealed their 20th top-flight win of the season.
Swansea’s goalscorer was also Spanish, with Fernando Llorente heading home from a Gylfi Sigurdsson free kick in first-half stoppage time to cancel out Fabregas’s 19th-minute opener.
Fabregas, who got the nod to start ahead of Nemanja Matic, was superb.
The former Arsenal captain – who struck the woodwork as well as hitting the net – made more key passes (5) and had more shots (also 5) than any other player on either side.
Pedro had a fine game too, assisting Fabregas for the game’s first goal, before firing the Blues back ahead when the contest was starting to get scrappy.
Swans goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski should have done better with Pedro’s long-range effort, but it was still a good strike and he deserved a goal for his general performance.
— Chelsea GIFs (@ChelseaGIFs) February 25, 2017
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Costa’s goal, which arrived on 84 minutes, was made by Eden Hazard, who completed more dribbles himself (8) than the entire Swansea team combined.
Swansea scorer Llorente held the ball up well, but was offered little support from his teammates.
Wayne Routledge was particularly uninspiring, but Tom Carroll showed some good touches and was brave on the ball, trying to be progressive despite his side coming under constant pressure.
Thibaut Courtois 6, David Luiz 6, Cesar Azpilicueta 7, Gary Cahill 6, Victor Moses 7, N’Golo Kante 7, Cesc Fabregas 9, Marcos Alonso 6, Pedro 8, Diego Costa 7, Eden Hazard 8.
Subs (not on for long enough to be rated): Willian, Kurt Zouma, Nemanja Matic.
Lukasz Fabianski 4, Kyle Naughton 6, Federico Fernandez 5, Alfie Mawson 5, Martin Olsson 6, Leroy Fer 6, Jack Cork 6, Tom Carroll 7, Wayne Routledge 4, Fernando Llorente 6, Gylfi Sigurdsson 6.
Subs (not on for long enough to be rated): Jordan Ayew, Luciano Narsingh.