Willian and Costa secure vital points for Blues

Willian and Diego Costa blasted Chelsea back into title contention with almost identical goals to down plucky Hull City 2-0 at the KCOM Stadium this afternoon.
After a dour start where the Blues struggled with their new three at the back formation, the second half saw the Brazilian wide man and the Brazilian-born Spain striker zip, right-footed curlers from just inside the penalty area, high and wide of exposed Hull goalkeeper David Marshall.
Those three points followed two dreadful defeats in recents weeks, will have done wonders for the Londoners' confidence and they seek to claw back the eight point deficit on Manchester City at the helm of the league.
Head coach Antonio Conte had to make changes at the back following those defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal, and right-back Branislav Ivanovic was the casualty.
Victor Moses was employed almost as a wing-back. Supporting Cesar Azpilicueta who had moved across the back line to take Ivanovic's place. Marcos Alonso took the left-back berth.
Hull City started off the brighter, trying to work out Chelsea's formation looked tricker, with Victor Moses at right back.
Three minutes in and Thibaut Courtois had to make a smart save after Robert Snodgrass's free-kick clipped off the wall and looked goal-bound before being tipped over the crossbar for a corner.
Chelsea first foray up front came on 11 minutes when Eden Hazard made a purposeful run into the heart of the Hull defence before beingupended for a free-kick. David Luiz made a hash of the dead ball.
A drilled shot by Willian on 16 minutes, half cross, half shot, inched past David Marshall's goal.
A quick breakaway by the Blues on 21 minutes, should have resulted in a goal. But Willian's insipid shot on the run, lacked power and went wide of goal as well.
Chelsea first contrived shot towards goal came on the 26 minutes with a half-hearted effort from skipper Gary Cahill, which failed to trouble Marshall.
Victor Moses when into the book of Antony Taylor on 35 minutes, his latest foul, just one too many.
Nemanja Matic followed suit with six minutes to go until the break.
Courtois was forced into a creditable save from a stinger from Ryan Mason just before the whistle was blown.
The Blues started the second have well and Alonso forced Marshall into a save seconds after the restart.
There were no changes of personnel from either side.
Eden Hazard produced a trademark run and shot which Marshall was again equal to, tipping it over the crossbar on r0 minutes.
Chelsea should have scored on the hour, when Costa bet the offside trap and rounded Marshall, wide on the right, just inside the penalty area.
His angled shot was headed towards the back of the net but Jake Livermore, retreating towards goal, just managed to get his thigh to the ball and deflect the ball onto the post. The rebound fell to the in-running N'Golo Kante, but he hacked his shot high over the crossbar with the goal gaping.
Chelsea's dominance bore fruit a minute later as poor defending saw `Willian at the edge of the penalty area, arrow the perfect curling right-footer into the top left hand corner of Marshal's net.
It was an unstoppable effort from the Brazilian wide man.
A back header from a Willian corner almost saw Matic notch number two, but Marshall snaffled the ball on the line.
But number two was seconds away, on 67 mInutes, and when the ball fell to Costa just inside the penalty area, he produced a replica goal to Willian, leaving Marshall stranded.

The Blues went in search f'or a third, but were mindful about not giving anything away at the back.
Conte brought on Oscar, Pedro and Nathaniel Chalobah to ease the Londoners home.




Teams: Chelsea, Courtois, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Cahill (c), David Luiz, Kante, Matic, Moses, Willian, Hazard, Diego Costa
Subs; Begovic, Ivanovic, Chalobah, Fabregas, Oscar, Pedro, Batshuayi

Hull City: Marshall, Robertson, Davies, Meyer, Snodgrass, Clucas, Livermore, Mbokani, Diomande, Henriksen, Mason

Subs; Jakupovic, Maguire, Huddlestone Hernandez, Maloney, Weir, Keane

Referee A Taylor