Hull crash to defeat by Chelsea

Hull 0 Chelsea 3

Chelsea put high-flying Hull in their place to get back to winning ways in the Barclays Premier League tonight.

Hull had gone into the game at the KC Stadium trailing the Blues only on goal difference but a stunning strike from Frank Lampard after just two minutes established superiority.

The Tigers hit the post through Daniel Cousin but Nicolas Anelka pounced on a mistake and Florent Malouda struck from close range to settle the contest.

It was the perfect response from Chelsea after suffering a first defeat of the season at the hands of Liverpool on Sunday.

Hull, who had won their previous four games, battled hard but in the end were well beaten by a Chelsea side whose extra class was evident.

Home boss Phil Brown had named the same side for the fifth game in succession but their soaring confidence ultimately counted for little has Chelsea handed them a reality check.

Chelsea, lifted by the return of Joe Cole, were soon into their stride as Lampard gave them an early lead with a delicate left-footed chip which oozed class.

The England midfielder displayed perfect technique to clip over the stranded Boaz Myhill after Paul McShane had dispossessed Florent Malouda but failed to clear.

It was his 99th career league goal and lifted the Blues after the shock of the Liverpool loss.

Hull, after conceding for the first time in four games, tried to respond through Geovanni but the Brazilian was denied a free-kick after running into Ricardo Carvalho.

Lampard tried his luck again with a shot from a free-kick 30 yards out but could not find the target.

Marlon King looked to have Hull’s first real chance but was flagged offside as he shot at Petr Cech.

Yet the hosts were inches away from an equaliser after 22 minutes as Cousin’s low shot from 20 yards took a slight deflection and beat Cech, only to bounce back off the post.

Geovanni also tested Cech with a long-range free-kick but the Chelsea goalkeeper beat the ball away after it bounced awkwardly in front of him.

Hull were then forced to sit back for a spell and survived a scare as Malouda found room to shoot but fired over.

Anelka went even closer with a ferocious drive just before the break but Myhill did brilliantly to tip over.

Cech was also in action again, keeping out another Geovanni free-kick and a King header.

Chelsea doubled their lead in the 50th minute as Anelka capitalised on uncertainty in the home defence.

Michael Turner and Kamil Zayatte, so impressive in recent weeks, switched off as they allowed a ball to bounce between them.

Myhill came forward to gather but was caught in two minds as he reached the edge of the area and Anelka nipped past him to turn the ball home.

Malouda should have added a third moments later but blasted over.

The Frenchman, however, made up for his earlier misses as he reacted first to stab home a Carvalho cross from close range after 75 minutes.

There was no way back for Hull but Brown gave the home fans something to cheer when he introduced local hero Dean Windass for only the second time this season late on.

Another Hull substitute, Richard Garcia, headed a late chance wide from a corner but there was to be no consolation.

Nevertheless, the Tigers have still enjoyed a fine introduction to the top flight. Their initiation will continue on Saturday when they travel to Manchester United.

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