In-form Chelsea top table

In-form Chelsea top table

Hazard, Torres strike as Blues notch up 2-0 win over Hull City

Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres applied the gloss to a workmanlike 2-0 victory at Hull City that lifted Chelsea to the top of the Premier League on Saturday.

In true Jose Mourinho style, Chelsea first nullified the minimal threat posed by Hull, then cut through at will after the break when classy goals by Hazard and Torres earned the Blues a fourth consecutive league victory.

Hazard, who provided Chelsea's spark throughout, fired a low shot home 10 minutes after the break and Torres marked his 200th Premier League appearance with a clinical late strike.

A thoroughly satisfying day for Mourinho also witnessed goalkeeper Petr Cech set a new club record of 209 clean sheets, 150 of them in the Premier League.

Cech was barely troubled as he edged in front of Peter Bonetti, his only save of note coming from Jake Livermore's swerving effort before half-time.

Mourinho said he expected New Year leaders Arsenal, who play Aston Villa on Monday, and Manchester City, who travel to Newcastle on Sunday, to knock his side off the summit but the signs are that Chelsea are beginning to hit top gear.

"It's better to be (top) than not to be," Mourinho, whose side have 46 points from 21 games, told BT Sport. "Today we had the extra pressure of not losing the chance to be top even for a few hours. I feel the team is improving step by step, all the players are stable and the young players are improving, you can feel the evolution."

Hazard was Hull's chief tormentor throughout. After a dull start the Belgian carved out Chelsea's first chance after half an hour, teeing up Oscar with a neat pull back, but the Brazilian's point-blank shot was brilliantly turned over the crossbar by Allan McGregor.

McGregor also had to be on his toes to deal with a dipping shot from David Luiz before half-time as Chelsea gradually asserted their superiority.

Hazard finally broke through after 56 minutes. Some great inter-play between Luiz and Ashley Cole on the left worked the ball into Hazard and he skipped across to his right before drilling a low shot past McGregor.

One goal looked like being enough for the Londoners but Torres made absolutely sure of the points after 87 minutes when his near-post blast flew past McGregor.

Everton sign McGeady

 Everton have signed Ireland winger Aiden McGeady on a four-and-a-half year contract from Russia's Spartak Moscow, the Premier League side said on Saturday.

The 27-year-old has been capped 63 times by his country.

It has previously been reported that McGeady would not join Everton until his contract expired at the end of the season. 

No transfer fee was disclosed.

McGeady joined Spartak from Celtic in 2010, helping them to second in the league in 2011-12, and will join up with international team-mates Darron Gibson, James McCarthy and Seamus Coleman at Everton.

He also bring Champions League experience as Roberto Martinez's side push for a top-four finish and a spot in next season's elite European club competition.

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