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Antonio Conte says Spurs' pressure is bringing the best out of Chelsea

09 April 2017

Chelsea maintained their seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a comfortable win over Bournemouth but take second billing on Match of the Day.

Antonio Conte's men went ahead after 17 minutes when Bournemouth's Adam Smith deflected in Diego Costa's shot and Eden Hazard made it 2-0 within a minute.

Hazard's goal, which was Chelsea's second, stood up as the eventual match-winner after Bournemouth made it interesting at the end of the first-half, though the result didn't feel safe until Marcos Alonso's picture-perfect free-kick halfway through the second half flew into the back of Artur Boruc's net.

Bournemouth could earn three successive home wins for the first time since a similar sequence between September and October past year.

After surviving an early scare when Thibaut Courtois had to be alert to keep out David Luiz's miscued attempted clearance, the visitors took control of the game with two goals in the space of three minutes.

Chelsea's Marcos Alonso, centre celebrates with his teammates after scoring his sides 3rd goal during their English Premier League soccer match between Bournemouth and Chelsea at Dean Court stadium in Bournemouth, England, Saturday, April 8, 2017. Tottenham may be in fine form, but so too are Chelsea and last weekend's defeat to Crystal Palace looks like an anomaly rather than nerves taking their toll.

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After another impressive title run-in win, you might say that Chelsea don't seem to feel any pressure, but there's much more to it than that. The ball went out of play and Bournemouth had a goal kick. That means they are a really good team. Striker Benik Afobe charged unmarked into space to meet Charlie Daniels's cross from the left, only to volley against the inside of the post.

For someone who is given license to get forward as much as the Spanish left-wing back, you'd expect better in the final third. Boruc could only watch as the ball curled into his top corner.

Conte's charges are now seven points clear of Spurs with just seven games remaining this season.

Kante, of course, is Chelsea's destroyer, as underlined by the fact that his assist was his first for the Blues, in what was his 30th appearance for the club.

Scoring goals has been an important part of the Cherries campaign, as they now are the seventh best goalscoring side in the league, racking up a tally of nine goals.