Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel, celebrated his 29th birthday with a 90-minutes performance for Chelsea, as the London Club returned to winning ways at the Vitality Stadium, producing an impressive attacking display to secure a 4-1 victory against Bournemouth.
Pedro, the returning Eden Hazard and Willian were on target for the Blues, but much of the credit goes to Cesc Fabregas who laid on three of the goals.
Pedro gave the blues a fifth-minute lead, finishing off a quick break, and Hazard made it 2-0 with a right-footed drive from outside the box.
Bournemouth pulled one back immediately through Tommy Elphick, and while Eddien Howe’s side were well in the game for long spells, Chelsea third goal, which came 20 minutes from time, put the game out of their reach, and Hazard doubled his own tally late on.
The big news regarding team selection was the availability of Hazard, who started the game having not played since the second leg of the Champions League tie against Paris Saint-Germain over a month ago.
With Thibaut Courtois serving the first of a two-game suspension Asmir Begovic started, and in front of the goalkeeper it was John Mikel Obi chosen to partner captain Branislav Ivanovic. John Terry wasn’t fit enough to be involved while Gary Cahill missed out due to illness.
Elsewhere, Nemanja Matic made his first start since the FA Cup game at Everton and Diego Costa led the line.
It was the home side who started the game on the front foot, threatening down the right-hand side on a couple of occasions, but with the first attack of the game, Chelsea took the lead with a well-worked goal.
Hazard did well to flick a loose ball on to Diego Costa inside their own half, and the striker in turn played it into the path of Fabregas who was on the move. He picked out Pedro with a brilliant pass and the winger did the rest, bringing the ball under control with his first touch before calmly lifting it over Artur Boruc.