FULL TIME: Hull City 0-2 Chelsea

A fine, fine second-half performance by Eden Hazard and Chelsea. Hull didn't really get a look-in. But they were facing top-drawer opposition - Jose Mourinho's side leapfrog Manchester City and Arsenal to head the Premier League table - and won't beat themselves up too much about this one.

90 min: Essien on, Ramires off. There will be three added minutes, but this game is already over.

89 min: Schurrle comes on for... er, I didn't see who went off. I hope it was indeed Schurrle who came on, because this entry will be a total farce otherwise.

GOAL!!! Hull City 0-2 Chelsea (Torres 87)

Therefore, having said all that, Torres turns the burners on down the inside left, twists Bruce this way and that, and buries a fine effort into the bottom left! Hold the centrefold back page: Chelsea are heading to the top of the league!

86 min: Chelsea are calming this right down, letting the clock do the work. Hull have hardly had a sniff during the last couple of minutes. "What happened to Torres? He 'musta got lost'." Joe Pearson, there, everyone. He's here all week. Try whatever's on the rider.

83 min: Quinn replaces Boyd. "My favourite J Geils Band anecdote (okay the only J Geils Band anecdote that I know) is that the singer, Peter Wolf, and David Lynch (that David Lynch) were college roommates," writes Kári Tulinius, extremely promisingly. "Lynch had Wolf kicked out of their shared digs because he thought Wolf was too weird. The mind boggles trying to come up with things Lynch would find too weird."

82 min: Figueroa is booked for a clip on the back of Hazard's ankle. He can have no complaints. 

80 min: Hull are pinning Chelsea back a little here. Sagbo takes a shot from distance, and it clatters against Terry's left arm, which is hanging like a pipe cleaner and swings gently in the breeze. No penalty. Elmohamady picks up the deflected shot and attempts to whip a cross into the area, but Cole gets in the way.

79 min: And now the profligate Oscar is replaced by Mikel.

78 min: Fryatt comes on for Chester.

76 min: Elmohamady reprises his early moves by getting ahead of Cole down the right. Hazard tries to stop him, but no dice. Elmohamady loops a cross to the far post, but Koren can't quite get on the end of it. Hull are showing small signs of recovery.

74 min: Willian drops a shoulder and makes for the byline down the right. He pulls a low cross into the centre for Oscar, who once again is denied a surefire goal from his position on the penalty spot, Davies sliding in to deflect his effort over the bar. The corner is a waste of time. Oscar should have two goals to his name today, but look.

73 min: Boyd gets a yard on Azpilicueta down the left and whips a wonderful cross into the area. Hull have men in the box, but Cole gets eyebrows to the ball and sends it away to safety. What superlative defending, and a reminder that, for all their dominance, Chelsea are only the one goal up.

70 min: A ball looped into the Hull area from the right fails to find the head J Geils, but does end up at the feet of Hazard, who bangs a shot goalwards from a tight angle. It's parried clear, but a decent effort nonetheless. Hazard has been ... well, not quite sensational, but not that far off it. He's been very, very good indeed.

68 min: Livermore is booked for a late rake down the back of J Geils' Torres' ankle. That's a fairly nasty one, actually, which removed the striker's boot. A no-brainer for the ref.

67 min: Koren replaces Meyler. "Is Torres still on the pitch?" wonders Julian Menz. "The last (and only) time you mentioned him was in the 2nd minute, I think. J Geils has been mentioned more."

66 min: Cahill is booked for deliberately handing the ball as Sagbo threatens to break past him down the left. That might have hit his shoulder, actually, he's quite unlucky there. Although there's a sense that it only hit his shoulder because he was lunging to handle it anyway, but missed. So, er. Does that qualify as some sort of karmic balance? Huddlestone attempts to bury the free kick from an impossible angle, and fails dismally. Goal kick!

64 min: Cahill and Terry exchange reverse passes near Hull's left-hand corner flag, leaving two opponents spinning around like teenagers on Special Brew. Chelsea's confidence, it is fair to say, is flowing.

63 min: Willian has a dig from 25 yards. It's not a particularly good effort, dragged weakly wide left, but you can't be giving a player as good as that free shots. Hull are rocking badly here.

62 min: Number of Hull moves since the restart consisting of one pass or more: 0

60 min: ... and, in looking for the right-hand corner from a tight angle, balloons the ball out of play. What a waste.

59 min: Chelsea are first to everything now, but then that was the case before the goal too. Huddlestone drags Ramires down, just to the left of the Hull area, six yards from the byline. This free kick is in a very dangerous position. Willian takes ...

GOAL!!! Hull City 0-1 Chelsea (Hazard 56)

Chelsea triangulate awhile. Luiz slips the ball down the inside-left channel for Cole, who flicks off to Hazard. Not for the first time since the restart, Hazard dances into the area from the left, drops a shoulder, gives himself some space, and hammers a shot into the bottom right from just inside the area. That's a delightful strike, a wonderful team goal finished off with some individual brilliance.

55 min: Chelsea ping it around. Hull can't get hold of the thing at all.

53 min: Hazard, in the mood now, jigs down the inside-left channel. He's robbed of the ball by Bruce, but the defender's only managed to perform a clean tackle with his hand. Free kick! Luiz sends a dipping shot towards the bottom left corner. McGregor's behind it, but can only parry in front of him. Luckily a Hull shirt reaches the loose ball first, and hacks clear. A sense that it's only a matter of time before Chelsea open the scoring here.

51 min: Hazard embarks on a baroque ramble down the left, cutting into the area, dancing past two challenges, and dragging a low shot wide left. The ball took a deflection on its way out. Corner on the left, which leads to a corner on the right. From the second set piece, Willian caresses a cross into the area from tight on the right touchline, Ramires flicking a back header over the bar from ten yards. This is all Chelsea.

48 min: Chelsea have come out in determined fashion. Oscar nearly latches onto a long ball down the right, but it skids out of play before he can pull back to team-mates in the middle.

46 min: Early second-period pressure from Chelsea, Hazard, Willian and Luiz taking turns to toddle around down the left. Nothing comes of it.

And we're off again! More Eye of the Tiger over the PA. Doesn't the announcer realise there's a b-side? It's called Take You On A Saturday, which surely works just as well. Hull get the game restarted.

Half-time advertisement:

HALF TIME: Hull City 0-0 Chelsea

And that's your lot for the half. It's not quite sparked into life, but it hasn't been terrible either. Hull could have scored one or two, Chelsea certainly should have had one. But it's goalless. Could be a very interesting second half, especially as tempers were beginning to bubble as a result of that Livermore-Luiz set-to. Don't go flipping!

45 min: Seconds before the brawl that wasn't, Hazard was charged off the ball in the area by Meyler, as he cut into the box from the right. A couple of Chelsea players claimed for a penalty kick, but the player himself didn't. Which is just as well, as he wasn't getting the decision.

44 min: A brawl threatens to break out as Livermore and Luiz come together ten yards outside the Hull area. Luiz reckons Livermore came in studs up, and springs up to discuss it accordingly. Everyone calms down quickly enough. Luiz steps up and takes his frustration out on the ball, battering a looping free kick goalwards, forcing McGregor to tip over. The corner comes to nothing.

41 min: A free kick for Hull, 35 yards out on the right. Huddlestone steps up and sends the ball sailing behind the goal, many yards to the left and several miles high to boot. With the box loaded, that's an awful waste, especially as Hull haven't done much up front of late.

40 min: Luiz tries that diagonal ball towards Hazard again. It's a peach of a pass, but Hazard miscontrols on the edge of the area and the ball goes sailing out of play. Both passer and passee sport pained looks on their coupons. A decent touch and Hazard was through on goal there.

36 min: Chelsea have taken the wind out of Hull's sails, mind you. They haven't had the ball in the Chelsea half for a few minutes now. Chelsea's support amuse themselves by riffing about Mourinho to the tune of Cum On Feel The Noize, but it all gets out of synch and eventually sounds like something Steve Reich would record.

33 min: One of the saves of the season here. Hazard reaches the byline down the left and pulls the ball back to Oscar, who is free on the penalty spot. He's surely got to score, with all the time in the world. He's got time to take a touch and set himself. He batters the ball goalwards - and watches, mouth agape, as McGregor sticks out an arm and tips the ball over the bar from point-blank range! That was a reaction stop of Dudek-Shevchenko proportions! Nothing comes of the resulting corner, which is just as well, because a save as good as that deserves nothing less. Oscar should have buried the chance, of course - the witless effort was way too close to the keeper - but it was a stunning save nonetheless.

32 min: A free kick for Chelsea down the right. Willian hoicks the ball into the area, towards the far post, where McGregor flaps under the cross. Ramires has been leaning in, it seems, a point the keeper makes forcefully via the time-honoured medium of yap. Hull are allowed to clear.

30 min: Chelsea step it up a wee bit. Hazard looks to release the rampaging Ramires into the area with a cheeky backheel down the inside-left channel, but it doesn't quite find its target. Hull were nearly opened up there.

29 min: Chelsea calm it all down by stroking it around the middle of the park awhile. No great attacking intent is shown, but this is sensible enough from a team who haven't exactly been on the ropes, yet could easily be a goal or two down against unfancied opposition.

26 min: What a chance for Hull! Chelsea faff about for the 874th time so far this afternoon. Terry, near his own corner flag down the left, allows himself to be charged down by Elmohamady. The ball breaks into the penalty area for Sagbo, who is one on one with Cech! He takes a first-time shot, flashing the ball just wide of the left-hand post. Chelsea and Terry breathe again. This is shoddy nonsense from a Chelsea point of view.

23 min: Sagbo buzzes around awhile, finally laying off to Livermore, 25 yards out, level with the right-hand post. Livermore shoots, looking for the bottom right, and Cech is forced to tip round the post. From the corner, Bruce is allowed a free header 12 yards out. He attempts to guide the ball into the top right, but only just finds the top-right corner of the stand behind the goal. That goes down as a chance spurned. Chelsea are all over the shop at the moment.

21 min: Chelsea are repeatedly giving the ball away in their own half. This is most unMourinhoesque. A loose pass from Ramires nearly allows Sagbo the chance to tear clear down the right, but Cole isn't finished quite yet and snuffs out the danger. But the home side have their tails up.

19 min: Elmohamady has clearly decided that Cole's there for the taking down the right. He batters the ball down the wing and looks to take on his opponent in a foot race. He'd have won it, too, but unfortunately he's wanged the ball straight out of play. Hull had players over in the middle, too.

17 min: The game restarts, except it doesn't, not really. That brief pause while Hazard got his neck/ego massaged has extinguished the spark from this game. Hopefully it'll warm up again soon. "J Geils would normally line up in the rapidly-becoming-famous Hull back three," reports Sean Boiling, "but he got a red card last time out. He's banned. J Geils banned." Dear lord, that it's come to puns like this. My blood runs cold.

14 min: Hazard is down on the ground clutching his nipples in pain. Huddlestone had put his arm across the Belgian's neck, standing on his foot at the same time for good measure. He'll be fine.

11 min: This is lovely end-to-end stuff. Elmohamady nearly gets the better of Cole down the right, but the rusty left-back just about keeps a lid on things. Then Torres breaks clear down the left, but he doesn't have the confidence these days, does he. Times past, he would have cut inside and, without thinking, lashed a shot into the far corner. Now he hesitates slightly and allows his effort to be charged down and deflected out for a corner kick. Nowt comes from the set piece.

10 min: Every Chelsea attack features Luiz as its pivot. He's everywhere! He clips a couple of one-twos in the middle of the park before sweeping the ball out to Azpilicueta, in acres, down the right. The full back fannies around and the chance is gone.

9 min: Now Sagbo turns on the edge of the Chelsea D and tries a shot, but his effort is almost immediately charged down by Cahill. This is a bright start; both teams appear to be well up for this.

7 min: The ball bounces around, all alone, ten yards in front of the Chelsea area. No Chelsea defender bothers to trot out to blooter it clear, so Elmohamady grabs the opportunity with both hands, taking up possession and sending a testing bouncer towards the bottom corner. Cech is behind it all the way, but that was dangerous enough for both sets of supporters to give it the OOHs.

5 min: Luiz, stationed in midfield, of course he is, sprays a diagonal pass from the right-hand edge of the centre circle towards Hazard down the left. There's a touch too much on the ball, and it fizzes out of play, but the pass was decent enough for Hazard to give it the ostentatious thumbs-up to his team-mate.

3 min: ... nothing. Sorry to have got your hopes up. Chelsea muck about, Willian loses possession, and Hull are able to scamper upfield to safety. A good, if not blistering, atmosphere at the KC. Where there is, naturally, sunshine on this crisp morning. A real early-80s American pop feel to this MBM so far. Is there a J Geils on either teamsheet?

2 min: Torres skips down the right and wins a corner, in a rather clumsy fashion it has to be said. Anyway, from the set piece ...

And we're off! Chelsea get the game started. Terry faffs around a little bit, and is nearly robbed of the ball on the edge of his own area, but gets away with the early mistake. Chelsea are soon romping down the other end, Willian shanking a cross out of play down the right. Action at both ends within a minute. More, please!

The teams are out! As the life's work of a certain Chicago-based soft-rock combo blasts from the PA system, the players take to the field. Hull City are in their tiger stripes ...

... while Chelsea are in peacock blue. We'll be off in a minute.

The talent

Hull City welcome back George Boyd: McGregor, Chester, Bruce, Davies, Elmohamady, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Figueroa, Boyd, Sagbo.
Subs: Rosenior, Graham, Koren, Fryatt, Harper, Faye, Quinn. 

Fernando Torres, making his 200th league appearance on these shores, and David Luiz return for Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Luiz, Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Torres.
Subs: Essien, Mata, Mikel, Schurrle, Schwarzer, Eto'o, Bertrand. 

Flinging abuse (and more power to his elbow if he does): Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear) 

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In their last four home league matches, Hull City have beaten Liverpool, drawn dismally with Stoke, put the fear into Manchester United before going down, and beaten Fulham by six goals, all of which were scored in the second half. Meanwhile in Chelsea's last four away league games, Jose Mourinho's men have thrashed Southampton, parked the bus at Arsenal, lost at Stoke, and shipped three goals at bottom club Sunderland. Anything could happen here, is the trite message of this preamble. It's on!

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