Chelsea moved closer to a second Premier League title in three years courtesy of a 4-2 win over Southampton at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte’s decision to bench Diego Costa and Eden Hazard for Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final win against Tottenham was rewarded with the returning duo starring in a consummate performance.
Hazard opened the scoring just five minutes in and Costa added a second-half brace after Gary Cahill had restored the home side’s lead just shy of half-time following Oriol Romeu’s 24th-minute leveller.
Ryan Bertrand scored a stoppage-time consolation but it mattered little as the win moves Chelsea seven points clear of second-placed Tottenham, who face Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
TALKING POINT - Is the title race over?
Seven points clear again, and the Chelsea fans were evidently confident that the championship is theirs now by the end, singing happily about their imminent trophy.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Eden Hazard (Chelsea). Brilliant, thoughtful, exquisite to watch.
Chelsea - Courtois 7, Azpilicueta 7, David Luiz 7, Cahill 8, Moses 7, Kante 8, Matic 7, Alonso 7, Fabregas 8, Diego Costa 8, Hazard 9. Subs - Begovic, Ake, Terry 6, Chalobah, Willian 6, Pedro 6, Batshuayi.
Southampton - Forster 7, Cedric 7, Stephens 7, Yoshida 6, Bertrand 7, Romeu 7, Davis 7, Ward-Prowse 7, Tadic 7, Boufal 7, Gabbiadini 7. Subs - Hassen, Clasie, Long 6, Rodriguez 6, Cacares, Redmond 6, Hojbjerg.
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: Hazard, Costa star as Chelsea extend lead at top