'A massive step' - Cahill, Hazard confident on Chelsea's title charge

Chelsea captain Gary Cahill believes that Antonio Conte's side took a huge step towards regaining the Premier League crown after they beat Southampton 4-2 at Stamford Bridge.

Diego Costa ended his goalscoring drought with a well-taken double after Cahill's header had restored Chelsea's lead - given to them by Eden Hazard's early strike - on the stroke of half-time.

The victory takes Chelsea seven points clear of second-placed Tottenham, who face in-form Crystal Palace on Wednesday, and England defender Cahill - who missed out on the FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham through illness - knows the title is now firmly within the Blues' grasp.

Costa back to kill Spurs' title hopes

"It feels like a massive step to be honest," Cahill told Sky Sports. "It's the first time for a long time that we've played first so we're delighted to get the win.

"I had a difficult week with a bit of gall bladder pain but the lads didn't miss me against Tottenham at Wembley. I'm just glad to get back out there.

"We've got a big game this weekend, a difficult game [at Everton]. We need to rest up for that. We can watch the game tomorrow with our job done."

Eden Hazard Chelsea

Cahill's goal came after his former Chelsea team-mate Oriol Romeu had levelled proceedings, and the England international acknowledged his header came at the ideal time.

"I just sniffed out a second a ball, Marcos [Alonso] has put it back over and it's a ball that, for a striker or a defender, is dying to be attacked," Cahill added.

"I'm sure it deflated them – I've been on the end of those myself. It was great timing."

Costa's goals most valuable in PL

Hazard may have missed out on the PFA Player or the Year award to team-mate N'Golo Kante, but the Belgian's fifth-minute effort set the tone for Chelsea's dominant display on Tuesday, moving him on to 15 goals for the league campaign.

"It's always good to score, to create a lot of chances. We scored four beautiful goals, Tottenham play tomorrow so we put pressure on them," Hazard said.

"To be fair I just want to take the trophy at the end of the season. If my goals help the team to win the games I'm happy."

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