Eden Hazard finally ended his Premier League goal drought in Chelsea’s comfortable win over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.
The Belgian bagged a brace in a 4-1 win on the south coast having previously gone almost a year without finding the net in almost a year in the competition.
Chelsea had slumped to back-to-back defeats heading into this one but they returned to winning ways in style as they showed their ruthless streak against the Cherries.
Cesc Fabregas laid on a hat-trick of assists while Pedro and Willian also got their names on the scoresheet on a productive afternoon for the west Londoners.
Bournemouth had threatened to make a game of it and gave Chelsea plenty to think about at times.
But it was the travelling fans, who also played their part with a fine vocal performance, who went home happy with three points in the back.
Here’s five things we learned from the 4-1 victory at the Vitality ...
New faces needed at the back
Chelsea are in desperate need of new centre-backs if John Terry leaves this summer.
The skipper missed out today but still travelled with the squad to the south coast to shadow manager Guus Hiddink is he eyes a role in the dugout.
Kurt Zouma is still recovering from a horrendous knee injury while Gary Cahill dropped out unexpectedly through illness.
Matt Miazga is clearly deemed not ready for regular action as he remained confined to the bench as John Obi Mikel partnered Branislav Ivanovic.
It was a move that suggests it is increasingly likely the American will head out on loan next season.
Terry’s contract expires in a matter of weeks and is not expected to be renewed. If Antonio Conte decides to cut ties then defensive recruits are a must.
Hazard is back with a bang
Hiddink confirmed in his Friday press conference that the Belgian would be included in the squad for the trip to Bournemouth after training well this week.
However, few would have expected the Belgian to be thrust straight back into the starting XI after missing the last five games with a hip injury.
But interim boss Hiddink had clearly seen enough at Cobham to ease any lingering concerns as the forward started in the Dean Court sunshine.
Last year’s double player of the year has had a shocking campaign by his standards and rumours over a transfer refuse to go away ahead of a rebuild at Stamford Bridge.
He looked in the mood as well and it wasn’t surprising to see Hazard finally end his wait for a first Premier League goal of the campaign here with a double.
It was a fine finish from outside the box, one which should give him a much-needed confidence boost, and his late second put the icing on the cake.
It will be interesting to see where he goes from here.
Shaky Begovic stands in for Courtois
Another player being linked with a move away from west London this summer is goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Real Madrid are known-admirers of the Chelsea goalkeeper and are understood to be monitoring his situation ahead of the re-opening of the transfer window.
He put himself in the shop window with a fine performance last week against Manchester City before he was sent off late on to concede a penalty.
That earned him a two-match ban and he served the first of that double today as Asmir Begovic stepped into the breach.
If Courtois does make the move in the summer then, certainly based on this performance, Begovic is nowhere near the standard needed of a first-choice keeper.
Perhaps you could put it down to rustiness, however the former Stoke star made even the most basic of errors when dealing with crosses and corners.
Bournemouth continue to entertain
There is a lot to be admired about Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth.
The talented young English manager has done an incredible job down on the south coast and there was more evidence of that here.
Flowing football and a great team spirit, the Cherries will deservedly take their place among the Premier League’s elite again next term.
It really is a true fairytale story and one that gives hope to many teams further down the football pyramid.
Hiddink this week spoke of his disbelief at the result in the reverse fixture in the dark days under Jose Mourinho.
Having now seen Bournemouth up close and personal, the Dutchman will now have seen just exactly why last season’s Championship stormers have held their own this term.
The 4-1 scoreline looks comprehensive but Howe’s side could easily have gone in ahead at the break and it was Chelsea’s expensive strikeforce that proved the difference.
Attacking Blues promise
For all Chelsea’s problems at the back today, Hiddink’s side showed plenty of threat going the other way.
Hazard showed us a glimpse of the player who lit up English football last season while Pedro’s goal was equally deserved after a good showing.
Willian has been Chelsea’s standout performer in a disappointing season and he also had the Cherries defenders worried on occasion, taking his goal with aplomb.
Fabregas this week revealed he thought he had forgotten how to play football earlier this term but he seems to have rediscovered the golden touch in recent weeks.
Diego Costa had a quiet afternoon by his standards.