Chelsea recovered from their defeat to Liverpool at the weekend by dispatching a below par Hull side this evening 3-0. There were some shaky moments - most notably when Daniel Cousin hit the post in the first half - but Luiz Felipe Scolari can be happy with his sideâ€™s response to the first significant setback of his short reign.
Stung by losing their unbeaten record on Sunday, the Blues quickly made amends, going ahead after just three minutes. Florent Malouda battled well in the box and forced Paul McShane into a hurried clearance which broke to Frank Lampard, who sent an audacious chip looping up over Boaz Myhill and into the net. The goal was Lampardâ€™s 99th in the Premier League.
Joe Cole - who had become the games first booking minutes earlier - forced Myhill into action on 12 minutes, but in truth the returning wingerâ€™s shot was easily dealt with by the Hull stopper.
High on confidence after his goal, Lampard tried his luck with a free-kick from 35 yards that wasnâ€™t too far away. Chelsea were playing the ball around well, and a second goal seemed simply to be a question of when, not if.
Cousin set alarm bells ringing in the Chelsea defence soon afterwards, hitting the post with a shot from outside the area. That effort was the closest Hull were to come to scoring.
Myhill was finding himself in demand, and had to be at his best tip an effort from Nicolas Anelka over the bar.
One of the features of Hullâ€™s meteoric rise this season has been a succession of spectacular goals by the Brazilian Geovanni, and he almost added another to his collection just before half time. His 40-yard free kick was well struck, but Cech managed to get down and save.
Any hope that Hull had of fashioning a way back into the game were well and truly finished as a result of some truly shambolic defending that allowed Nicolas Anelka to rob Myhill of the ball and tap in to an empty net.
Chances were falling to Chelsea players left, right and centre, but a number of them were guilty of wasting good chances to extend the lead.
Malouda made amends for his wasteful finishing with 16 minutes to go, tapping in from Ricardo Carvalhoâ€™s neat cross, although there were hints that the Frenchman was offside, the goal stood.
Hull threatened to pull back a consolation, but only in fits and starts. Too often Chelsea just passed it around them and the Hull fans sat in near total silence, only breaking it to boo Ashley Cole every time he touched the ball.
Ian Ashbee came closest for the home side in the closing stages, sending a header marginally wide of the post.
Chelseaâ€™s night ended on a sour note when Ricardo Carvalho was forced off with a hamstring injury. Injuries are becoming a part of Scolariâ€™s life at Chelsea, but the equally familiar feeling of winning has return after a brief lull.