West Ham 1-2 Chelsea: Eden Hazard and Diego Costa send Blues 10 points clear

West Ham 1-2 Chelsea: Eden Hazard and Diego Costa send Blues 10 points clear

Chelsea moved 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League table after a 2-1 win at West Ham.

A flowing counter-attack was expertly finished by Eden Hazard on 25 minutes at the London Stadium and the visitors doubled the score when Diego Costa capitalised on poor West Ham defending to turn home Cesc Fabregas’ corner.

A stoppage-time strike by Manuel Lanzini reduced the deficit but it came too late for the Hammers to stage a comeback as Chelsea held on to extend their lead atop the table.

Antonio Conte’s side are now 10 points ahead of second-place Tottenham and 11 clear of Manchester City, who could cut that advantage to eight with victory over Stoke.

Chelsea welcome Manchester United to Stamford Bridge next in their FA Cup quarter-final on Monday.

West Ham remain 11th and travel to Bournemouth on Saturday in the Premier League.

Andy Carroll replaced the suspended Michail Antonio in Slaven Bilic’s only change from the 1-1 draw at Watford.

The England striker typified the Hammers’ effort in the first half, crashing into aerial challenges and drawing blood after one particularly firm collision with Victor Moses.

But the hosts were undone by the game’s first moment of attacking quality as Chelsea, who were unchanged from their 3-1 win over Swansea, took the lead with their first shot of the match.

The break was led by the irrepressible N’Golo Kante, who won possession and sent Hazard clear. The Belgian exchanged passes with Pedro before skipping around Darren Randolph and sliding in his 11th goal of the season.

Lanzini, making his 50th Premier League appearance, lashed over as West Ham looked to respond before half-time but their opponents went closest with a flurry of chances.

Moses and Pedro were denied by Aaron Cresswell and Randolph respectively after Costa had wasted a promising chance created by Hazard.

The Spain striker made no mistake shortly after the break, converting off his thigh from a Fabregas delivery.

A miscommunication at the front post between Carroll and Pedro Obiang allowed Costa to steal in for his 49th Premier League goal since joining Chelsea, and his 17th of the season.

West Ham’s first effort on target came after 61 minutes when Sofiane Feghouli fired past Thibaut Courtois only for Moses to clear on the line.

It was a difficult night overall for the Hammers, who lost Winston Reid to injury midway through the second half and expended plenty of energy against a well-drilled Chelsea back three.

The visitors almost grabbed a third through Costa on the break but a fantastic fingertip stop by Randolph denied the striker.

A spell of late West Ham pressure finally yielded reward for the hosts when Lanzini rifled low past Courtois in the 92nd minute but Chelsea saw out time in the closing stages.

Source: Sky Sports