Pedro

Spaniard Pedro scored twice as Chelsea tightened their grip on top spot by sweeping past Bournemouth 3-0 on Monday, a club record 12th successive Premier League win taking them seven points clear.

Approaching the halfway point of the season, Chelsea have 46 points to the 39 of Manchester City who won 3-0 at Hull City.

Liverpool, who host Stoke City on Tuesday, and Arsenal, who needed a late Olivier Giroud goal to sink West Bromwich Albion 1-0, both have 37 points.

With Diego Costa suspended, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte opted to play without a recognised striker and he was rewarded with inventive attacking displays from Pedro, Belgian Eden Hazard and Brazilian Willian.

Pedro’s sumptuous chip put the home team ahead after 24 minutes before Hazard made it 2-0 with a penalty at the start of the second half.

Bournemouth, who won this fixture last season when Jose Mourinho was in charge at Stamford Bridge, conceded a third goal when Pedro’s deflected shot went in during stoppage time.

The victory took Chelsea past their 11-game winning run from 2009, leaving them within two of the top-flight record set by Arsenal in 2002.

“To win 12 in a row is not easy in this league. It’s a fantastic run but it’s important to continue that now,” Conte told reporters.

“We have another tough game (at home to Stoke on Saturday) and we have to prepare very well because, now, every team wants to beat you.”

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said: “They are an outstanding team. They have individuals of such quality that we couldn’t keep them quiet the whole game.”

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