90+4min: Full time. Chelsea win!
90min: 4 added minutes.
87min: Kepa called into action from a Paterson header.
85min: Zappacosta replaces hat-trick hero Hazard
83min: Willian makes it 4-1 with a quality long bomb.
81min: HAZARD HAT-TRICK! No problem from the spot after pulling rank on Jorginho. 3-1!
80min: Willian chases down a long-ball and is taken out by Manga. PENALTY!
77min: Cardiff’s last change is Madine for Ward.
74min: David Luiz’s turn to steam forward, but is crowded out. Kanté covers on the counter.
70min: Cardiff bring on Paterson for Reid. Chelsea continue to dominate possession, with Cardiff looking for long-ball counters.
67min: At the other end, Bobby Reid works David Luiz and Azpilicueta, but his shot goes wide of the far post.
66min: Chelsea keep the ball and keep the ball and keep the ball but go nowhere fast.
62min: Rüdiger steams forward, but passes up a shooting opportunity. Finds Pedro instead, who creates the space, but puts it wide. Still not quite dialed in, Pedro.
60min: Chelsea finally establishing some possession, but far from their first-half best.
56min: Bit of Cardiff possession, aided by inaccurate passing from Chelsea.
52min: Another half-chance from a set piece for Cardiff as Morrison’s long-throw is only half cleared and Ralls fires a piledriver wide of the goal.
50min: Chelsea forced into an early change as Kovačić seems to have picked up a knock. Ross Barkley comes on. Kovačić probably picked up that injury when he got crunched from both sides in the first half (no call of course from Jonny Moss).
HALF-TIME: Cardiff make one change, Richards coming on for Arter. Chelsea get the second-half under way.
45+3min: A bit of Chelsea possession to end the half. Chelsea have looked shaky on defending set pieces, but otherwise good effort from the Blues. Hazard has been magnificent.
45+1min: Cardiff win a succession of corners, but Chelsea defend them well enough.
44min: GOAL!!! Chelsea bamboozle Cardiff and it’s 2-1!! Giroud with the assist again and Hazard, via the deflection, finds the back of the net again! 2-1, Chelsea!
40min: Arter the latest Cardiff player to stay down for treatment.
38min: GOAL!! Giroud and Hazard combine through the middle and the latter finds the low far corner with a tremendous shot. 1-1!
36min: Patient play from Hazard finds Azpilicueta, and his cross finds Pedro wide open near the penalty spot, but his shot is hilariously bad and goes many yards over the bar. Should really be scoring that one.
33min: The ball finds Pedro and he does one of his trademark turns at the top of the box, but his chipped effort is too high.
31min: Alonso goes for the far post for some reason and misses by a fair margin.
30min: Great build-up from Chelsea, but Cardiff clear for a corner, which they clear after a bit of luck. Chelsea take it short this time and win a foul just on the edge of the box. Alonso territory?
24min: Pedro tries one of his trademark curling efforts from the right flank with the left foot, and it missed by maybe six inches.
20min: Giroud’s shot is blocked for a corner. Hazard takes, but only finds Kanté ahead of the near post and it’s well wide.
16min: Twice in 20 seconds, Etheridge denies Kovačić the equalizer.
15min: David Luiz gives away a lazy free kick at midfield, but Cardiff make it count with an excellent header across and then Sol Bamba getting the touch ahead of Jorginho. 1-0, Cardiff. Poor defending all around.
12min: Couple set pieces for Cardiff, a long-throw and a corner, Chelsea deal with both though not all that convincingly.
9min: Chelsea force a turnover from Hoilett, drive at the net, but Hazard’s pass is way too heavy and Kanté can’t control. A minute later, Hazard and Alonso drive forward on the left, taking advantage of Manga pushing too high, but Alonso’s cross isn’t the easiest and Giroud can only shoot wide.
6min: Giroud, making his first start for Sarri, heads just over from an Azpilicueta cross.
4min: Cardiff win an early corner on a deflected cross. Chelsea clear on the second ask and launch a counter via Giroud hold-up, but Pedro’s touch is too long and Cardiff clear.
3min: Teams trade long-balls over the top with similar useless outcomes.
KICK-OFF: Cardiff get us underway, they go long, David Luiz clears.
Football’s back, and there was much rejoicing.
Chelsea’s season thus far, all four games of it, has seen plenty of rejoicing as well, and now we have an excellent chance to continue that against winless Cardiff City. The schedule gets extra busy from here on out, so it’s time to bank some points, and then get the squad rotation going.
Here we go.
Chelsea starting lineup (4-3-3):
Arrizabalaga | Alonso, Rüdiger, David Luiz, Azpilicueta (c) | Kovačić, Jorginho, Kanté | Hazard, Giroud, Pedro
Substitutes from: Caballero, Christensen, Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Barkley, Willian, Morata
Cardiff City starting lineup (4-4-1-1):
Etheridge | Bennett, Bamba, Morrison (c), Manga | Hoilett, Ralls, Arter, Camarasa | Decordova-Reid | Ward
Substitutes from: Murphy, Peltier, Richards, Zohore, Paterson, Cunningham, Madine
Date / Time: Saturday, September 15th, 2018, 15:00 BST; 10:00am EDT; 7:30pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Jonathan Moss
On TV: none (UK); CNBC, Telemundo (USA); Star Sports Select HD2 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: none (UK); NBC Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India); The 5th Stand app (audio commentary; int’l)
Be excellent to each other.