Smooth Chelsea give West Ham Christmas blues
Chelsea showed why they are the Premier League leaders with a comprehensive 2-0 dismissal of London neighbours West Ham United in Friday’s early Boxing Day fixture. John Terry and Diego Costa were the men on target as Jose Mourinho’s side moved six points ahead of second-place Manchester City, who are in action later in the day.
West Ham had begun the day in fourth place, but the gulf in class between the two teams was apparent throughout, with Chelsea’s Eden Hazard the game’s most eye-catching performer.
Andy Carroll volleyed wide in the first minute as West Ham, criticised by Mourinho for their defensive tactics in the 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge last season, indicated they might be more ambitious this time.
It was Terry who broke the deadlock in the 31st minute, side-footing home from a couple of yards out after Costa had headed on a Fabregas corner.
Chelsea doubled the lead in the second half after Hazard found Costa and the striker found the bottom-right corner despite the presence of three defenders to register his 13th effort of the campaign.