An inspired performance from Eden Hazard helped Chelsea leapfrog London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham into third place in the Premier League as the race for Champions League qualification intensifies.
The Belgian scored a magnificent first half solo effort before drilling home a second before full time as Blues earned a hard fought 2-0 victory over West Ham at Stamford Bridge.
After controlling the opening exchanges, Maurizio Sarri’s side took a deserved lead midway through the first half when Hazard picked up the ball inside the West Ham half before embarking on a mazy run leaving defenders in his wake.
Slaloming his way into the penalty area, Chelsea’s main man cooly slotted the ball past Lukasz Fabianski, netting his 18th goal in all competitions this campaign.
Chelsea had chances to double their lead before the break but Gonzalo Higuain and Callum Hudson-Odoi were both unable to convert opportunities presented to them.
West Ham put in a spirited second half display and created some decent opportunities through Manuel Lanzini and Ryan Cresswell but were unable to find a breakthrough.
Hazard and Chelsea made the game safe in the final minute of normal time when a pinpoint Ross Barkely pass found Hazard in space in the penalty area, who fired past Fabianski to seal the points.
The Blues are now up to third in the table on 66 points, two ahead of Spurs and three ahead of the Gunners but now having played a game more.