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Chelsea beat Hammers to go 10 points clear

Chelsea beat Hammers to go 10 points clear

Diego Costa and Eden Hazard scored as Chelsea beat West Ham to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 10 points.

It was the Blues’ 21st victory of the league season and another big step towards winning the title in Antonio Conte’s first season as manager.

The Italian was once again spot on with his tactics – nullifying the predictable aerial threat of the Hammers’ 6ft 4in frontman Andy Carroll early in the match.

And then in the 25th minute his attackers cruelly exposed the hosts’ defence with a devastating counter-attack.

N’Golo Kante read a pass from Robert Snodgrass deep inside the Chelsea half on the left and played the ball to Hazard. The Belgium winger drove forward, played a one-two with Pedro and then shifted the ball past keeper Darren Randolph before slotting home.

The Blues doubled their lead after the break when Hazard’s corner from the left was turned in with his thigh by Costa – the Spain striker’s 17th league goal of the season.

The Hammers came close after Costa’s strike when Sofiane Feghouli’s low drive was brilliantly saved by Thibaut Courtois. Chelsea wing-back Marcos Alonso then appeared to block Manuel Lanzini’s half-volley with his arm moments later – but referee Andre Marriner deemed it to be accidental.

West Ham finally pierced the last line of defence in stoppage time. Carroll robbed Cesc Fabregas and fed Andre Ayew, who squared for Lanzini to fire in.