LEICESTER, England (AP): Chelsea easily coped without top-scorer Diego Costa, sweeping aside fading champion Leicester 3-0 to go seven points clear in the English Premier League yesterday. Marcos Alonso scored twice and Pedro Rodriguez headed in the third as Chelsea put their title bid back on track after a 13-match winning run ended at Tottenham in the previous game. “It was a very professional, solid performance by us on the back of the Spurs game,” Chelsea defender Gary Cahill said. “We had to prove it. It’s all about bouncing back.” Whether Costa returns to the Chelsea team is unclear, with the striker linked with a move to China, but is officially out of the game due to a back injury. “He wasn’t there today and we managed to put Pedro, Hazard and Willian up there so you try to defend against those three boys it’s very difficult,” Cahill said. “We are blessed to have talent like that, and if someone is missing, someone comes in and produces a performance like that.” Chelsea’s early opener came from an unlikely source in the sixth minute. Cesar Azpilicueta’s delicious cross caused chaos in the Leicester defence before it fell to Hazard to tee up the unmarked Alonso to hammer in from six yards. There was little reaction from Leicester as Chelsea threatened a procession. Leicester completed just 15 passes inside the opening 15 minutes. The rotation of Chelsea’s front three – Hazard, Willian and Pedro – caused Leicester issues. Willian was particularly impressive, and any threats were batted away by Cahill and David Luiz as the subdued host looked short of ideas. Without Riyad Mahrez, on African Cup of Nations duty with Algeria, Leicester lacked their main supply line to Jamie Vardy and Musa. The only real alarm for Chelsea came when Thibaut Courtois palmed away Vardy’s low cross, but the visitors always held a degree of control. A second goal arrived six minutes into the second half. Willian was fouled by Christian Fuchs and his right-wing free kick was only half cleared to Alonso. The left-back’s low 18-yard drive hit Wes Morgan to squirm past goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. Shock hat-trick Delicious cross Chelsea went hunting for more as Cahill’s overhead kick was blocked before Alonso was inches away from a shock hat-trick when his ambitious first-time volley dropped wide. But Pedro wrapped up the points in the 71st as Chelsea underlined its superiority and the gulf between the two sides. His flick found Willian and, when the midfielder’s cross looped off Schmeichel, Pedro rose to nod into an empty net. Yesterday’s results: Tottenham 4 West Brom 0; Burnley 1 Southampton 0; Hull City 3 Bournemouth 1; Sunderland 1 Stoke City 3; Swansea 0 Arsenal 4; Watford 0 Middlesbrough 0; West Ham 3 Crystal Palace 0; Leicester 0 Chelsea 3.
0Shares0000George Kombe (R) of Maweni United blocks Benson Njenga (L) of Shimanzi Youth during the Safaricom Chapa Dimba coast region finals held at Bomu Stadium in Changamwe. Shimanzi Youth won 2-1.NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 10 – The sixth leg of the Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom season 2 will head to Central Region this weekend where Thika Stadium will host the youth tournament.Eight teams will battle it out for the region’s supremacy and a chance to represent the region in the national finals set for June 2019 in Meru County and also stand a chance to be scouted for an All-Star team that will earn training in Spain thanks to La Liga. Defending champions Euronuts from Kiambu will take on Irigiro boys from Maragua while Laikipia’s Lufa Graduates will face Tetu Boys from Nyeri in the boy’s semis.Barcelona from Laikipia will play Dynamos from Kirinyaga as JYSA from Thika take on defending champions Limuru Starlets from Kiambu in the girl’s category.“We are ready for the weekend and we expect very entertaining matches with the reigning team Euronuts fighting to defend their title. The giants from Mt. Kenya region are ready to display their football prowess for a chance to advance their football careers,” Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom Central Region Coordinator, Naman Amboka said.Winners in both the boys and girls category will receive a cash price of Sh200,000 each and an opportunity to represent the Central Region in the national finals while runners-up will also receive Sh100,000 each among other individualized prizes.Already, Mombasa’s Shimanzi youth and Changamwe ladies, Kajiado’s Al Ahly and Kitale Queens from Rift Valley, Bishop Njenga Girls and Lugari Blue Saints from Western, Manyatta Boys and Ndhiwa Queens from Nyanza.Joining them are Super Solico and St Mary’s Ndovea from Eastern have booked their tickets for the national finals where Sh1,000,000 is at stake.This year, An All-Star team will be selected to attend a training camp in Spain during which they will play against local youth sides.The competition aims at scouting for youth talent, developing grassroots football, and ultimately propel gifted players to the national team.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)