Football

Blues cruise to new club win record

Chelsea's 3-0 win over Bournemouth is its 12th consecutive league win, just two shy of Arsenal's 2002 record.

English premier league
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No Diego Costa, no N'Golo Kante? No problem.

Chelsea demolished Bournemouth with a 3-0 victory at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday morning (Singapore time) to set a new club record of 12 consecutive Premier League wins.

The Blues are also two wins away from matching Arsenal's 14-match winning streak in 2002.

In the absence of the suspended duo, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte called on Eden Hazard to lead the forward line, instead of Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi, while Cesc Fabregas partnered Nemanja Matic in midfield.

Conte said: "This is the first time we played without a real forward.

"We tried this in training and I think for us at the moment this situation is the best, but I don't forget Michy because he is a young player with great talent. He is adapting to this league and its football. In the future, I trust in him."

While Costa and Kante started every league game under Conte, the duo were hardly missed as Pedro put the league leaders ahead in the 24th minute with a superb individual strike, and Hazard doubled their lead in the 49th minute with a penalty before Pedro notched his second in the game in the dying minutes.

"To win 12 games in a row is not easy in this league," Conte said. "It's a fantastic run but it's important to continue that now.

"In four days we have another tough game and we have to prepare very well. Because now every team wants to beat you."

With 46 points from 18 games, Chelsea are seven points clear of Manchester City, which beat Hull City 3-0 in a later match on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile Arsenal kept itself in the title race with a hard-fought 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion, thanks to Olivier Giroud's headed winner in the 86th minute.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: "In the end we had to be patient against a well-organised West Brom side. When you don't score early, you can't rush.

"We knew we had to win today after two disappointing defeats."

Also, Manchester United won its fourth consecutive league game, with a 3-1 victory over Sunderland.

Daley Blind opened the accounts at Old Trafford in the 39th minute, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic doubled the advantage in the 82nd minute.

Substitute Henrik Mkhitaryan also got onto the scoresheet with an outrageous "scorpion kick" in the 86th minute, before Fabio Borini netted a consolation goal in stoppage time.

Mkhitaryan said: "'It's the best goal I've ever scored...I had a great feeling. The first thing I did was to look to the assistant. I saw that it wasn't offside and I started to celebrate.

"I was expecting the ball in front of me, but I was already in front, so I got it behind me.

"So the only thing I could do, it was a chance to hit it with the back-heel. I did it and I succeeded."

United manager Jose Mourinho added: "He has scored beautiful goals all his career and in this moment, (there are) goals, but also the defensive work and also creativity.

"I'm so happy he came back after this injury and came back with his happiness and the feeling that the people at Old Trafford love him. That's a very important thing for him."

CHELSEA (EPL)Antonio Conteengland