Chelsea followed up their League Cup triumph over Tottenham with another London derby victory on Wednesday, beating West Ham 1-0 as their assault on the Premier League title continued.
The top-flight leaders tasted Wembley joy at the weekend and Eden Hazard’s first-half strike proved enough to cap a winning return to league action, with Jose Mourinho’s side staying five points ahead of Manchester City.
Mourinho memorably complained of West Ham playing ’19th century football’ in last season’s corresponding fixture that saw Chelsea waste numerous chances in a 0-0 draw.
However, his side found a way through this time around and led 1-0 at the break thanks to Hazard’s close-range header, although West Ham should have been level before the interval with Diafra Sakho nodding straight at Thibaut Courtois.
Hazard impressed throughout and twice in the second half he laid on great chances for Ramires, who was denied a goal by the frame of the post and a fine stop from Adrian.
The result increases the pressure on West Ham boss Sam Allardyce, who saw his side’s winless run in the league stretched to six matches, leaving them 10th.
Chelsea controlled the play in the opening exchanges and Diego Costa’s close-range effort ballooned over the crossbar off his shin early on.
West Ham, who saw Winston Reid limp off in the eighth minute to be replaced by James Collins, gradually gained a foothold and Courtois – one of two changes from the League Cup final for the visitors – was quick off his line to deny Kevin Nolan after he was slipped in by Mark Noble.