Chelsea strolled to their 12th consecutive Premier League victory – a club record – with a 3-0 triumph over Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge.
Pedro opened the scoring midway through the first half before Eden Hazard doubled their advantage from the penalty spot, shortly after the half-time restart.
The Cherries huffed and puffed, sticking admirably to their passing principles, but were unable to break through an impenetrable Chelsea defence.
And the Blues added gloss to their victory in stoppage time when Pedro netted his second of the afternoon, via a wicked deflection off Steve Cook.
The upshot is that Antonio Conte’s side are now seven points clear of their nearest rivals, but what did we learn from their latest victory?
Chelsea are not overly reliant on individuals
No Diego Costa? No N’Golo Kante? No problem for Chelsea, whose seemingly unstoppable bandwagon rolls on. They have not dropped so much as a point since September. Costa and Kante have arguably been the Blues’ two most consistent performers this season, with the former leading the line superbly and the summer signing from reigning champions Leicester fitting seamlessly into the midfield.
Some observers thought Chelsea would be vulnerable without those two stellar names in the starting XI, but in came Cesc Fabregas and Pedro who made no difference to the rhythm of the team. Bournemouth had spells of possession, as they do in every game, but were unable to cause Chelsea enough problems when they had the ball.
And when they lost it, the home side capitalised, breaking with speed and flair and invariably forcing a shot on goal. There was certainly no Christmas hangover from Conte’s men – is it too early to start calling them the champions elect?