Chelsea had enough quality to beat Newcastle United as goals from Oscar and Diego Costa earned them a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
Having failed to claim victory in their previous two Premier League outings, Jose Mourinho’s title hopefuls were not at their best on Saturday but coped well with Newcastle’s threat.
Ultimately, they struck at key times either side of the break to go two points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table, following the champions’ 1-1 draw with Everton.
The hosts were on the back foot for long spells of the first half but led at the break when Oscar converted Branislav Ivanovic’s cross from close range.
There was very little that fit-again Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul could do about that strike on his return from an ankle injury, and the Dutchman was similarly helpless when Costa made it two just before the hour mark.
John Carver once again led Newcastle following Alan Pardew’s recent departure, and any long-term replacement in the dugout will likely take positives from their performance, even after a fifth straight Premier League away game without a win.
Sunderland 0 – 1 Liverpool
Burnley 2 – 1 Queens Park Rangers
Chelsea 2 – 0 Newcastle United
Everton 1 – 1 Manchester City
Leicester City 1 – 0 Aston Villa
Swansea City 1 – 1 West Ham United
West Bromwich Albion 1 – 0 Hull City
Crystal Palace 2 – 1 Tottenham Hotspur