Eden Hazard scored twice, including a contender for goal of the season, to give Chelsea a vital 2-0 win over West Ham to move up to third in the Premier League. Hazard showed superb skill to get past three West Ham players before lashing home (24), and got another with a cute touch and finish late on (90) to wrap up the points.
West Ham had their share of chances to equalise in the second half, but the result means Chelsea have a three-point cushion over Arsenal in fifth, although they have played a game more.
West Ham stay 11th, five points off the top seven.Chelsea dominated the ball in the opening period, but had to wait until the 24th minute to cut West Ham open thanks to some Hazard brilliance, hours after it was reported on Sky Sports News that Real Madrid were increasingly confident of signing the Belgian in the summer.
Picking up the ball on the turn 45 yards out, Hazard took on Mark Noble and slalomed past Angelo Ogbonna and Fabian Balbuena with a fine piece of skill before poking past Lukasz Fabianski with his left foot from 15 yards.
Moments later, Hazard nearly set up Gonzalo Higuain for a second as the Argentinian hit the post from an angle, and he was then denied by Ryan Fredericks’ superb block after the striker had controlled and shot from close range.
Hazard was running the show, and had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down after Marko Arnautovic looked to have barged him to the ground. The game opened up after the break as Manuel Lanzini forced a smart save from Kepa Arrizabalaga, while Aaron Cresswell struck just wide from range on the half volley with West Ham pushing hard for a leveller.
Barkley was then inches away from converting Callum Hudson-Odoi’s centre across the face of goal, and at the other end Emerson produced a vital block as Arnautovic looked to head home sub Robert Snodgrass’ wicked cross.It was not entirely comfortable for Chelsea, but they got their two-goal cushion in the last minute as Hazard took down Barkley’s cross 10 yards out, before finding the bottom left corner past Fabianski on the half volley