Frank Lampard scored his 200th goal for Chelsea in a 2-0 win over his former club West Ham that took the Blues into third place in the Premier League ahead of Tottenham.
Lampard, who is now only two short of the club's all-time record set by Bobby Tambling, headed Chelsea in front from an Eden Hazard cross after 19 minutes at Stamford Bridge.
Hazard then added a second of his own after 50 minutes when exchanging passes with Juan Mata and going on a superb run before finding the bottom corner with an accurate finish.
With Tottenham falling to a home defeat to Fulham, the win sees Chelsea move one point ahead of their local rivals having played one game fewer, with Arsenal a further four points behind in the race for the final two Champions League places.
Chelsea continued their recent policy of leaving Fernando Torres and John Terry on the bench for weekend Premier League games, so Demba Ba was given the lead striker's role as he went in search of only a second goal in 10 games in all competitions.
After only seven minutes he was set free when he ran onto a through-ball from Lampard that caught James Collins off guard and held off the Wales defender to go one-on-one with Jussi Jaaskelainen. He took the chance early but the ball pinged awkwardly off his right instep and flew well wide.
Lampard was more ruthless on 19 minutes though. The lively Hazard had a rasping effort from the edge of the box saved by Jaaskelainen but when the ball was worked back to the Belgian he picked out a gorgeous cross for Lampard, who leapt to head the ball past the West Ham keeper.
West Ham almost responded immediately when Andy Carroll had the ball in the net, but the striker was furious to learn he had been penalised for a push on David Luiz after Matt Jarvis hooked the ball into the air from the byline. That was one of very few chances for the visitors in the first half, with Mohamed Diame having another effort blocked and Ricardo Vaz Te seeing a drive saved.
Chelsea mounted a sustained assault on the West Ham goal, with Hazard and Juan Mata looking ready to unpick the away defence at every opportunity. The Spaniard went close himself when curling one fine first-time effort just wide of the post and Victor Moses, the third member of the three behind Ba, also fired a shot wide from near the penalty spot following a cross from Cesar Azpilicueta.
Luiz even joined in, having one low free-kick tipped around the post before then wrapping his foot around a ball dropping from the sky and sending a thumping volley just past the post from 20 yards after Collins cleared from a Hazard free-kick.
However, Ba was the more conventional outlet for Chelsea and his difficult afternoon continued with two big misses towards the end of the half. After being played in by Moses he was denied when one-on-one by the leg of Jaaskelainen and was culpable again when getting in behind the defence to fire in a meek shot from an angle.
If Hazard was impressive in the first half he really turned on the style in the second. In one vignette the brilliant Belgian nutmegged Joey O'Brien, carried the ball 30 yards and then executed a Rabona kick to cross. Indulgent, perhaps, but electric too.
After 50 minutes he married style with substance. Hazard fed Mata with a square pass and then darted in behind a defender to receive the lobbed return pass. He drove in with purpose from the right, sauntering past two men before burying his shot in the bottom corner.
West Ham were restricted to few chances - Jack Collison saw one curling effort plucked out of the air by Cech as it headed for the top corner; Carroll was denied by the keeper after spinning Azpilicueta on the halfway line and producing a wickedly swerving effort - and after a fallow period Chelsea threatened again when Hazard saw a goal-bound effort blocked superbly by O'Brien.
Carlton Cole made a late cameo against his former side and almost caught out Cech when getting in front of Gary Cahill to prod a shot at goal, but the keeper held onto the ball. Carroll also threatened with a header while Lampard and Hazard could have added further goals for the home side in a hectic conclusion.
However, Chelsea still emerged with a very handy victory as Lampard moved ever closer to goalscoring immortality at Stamford Bridge.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Eden Hazard (Chelsea): A goal and an assist from the star of the show. Hazard was in a class of his own, producing some brilliant tricks and taunting West Ham all game long.
CHELSEA: Cech 6, Azpilicueta 7, Cahill 6, Luiz 7, Cole 6, Ramires 6, Lampard 8, Moses 6, Mata 8, Hazard 9, Ba 5. Subs: Oscar 6, Terry 6, Mikel N/A.
WEST HAM: Jaaskelainen 8, Demel 5, Collins 6, Reid 6, O'Brien 7, Diame 6, O'Neil 5, Collison 6, Vaz Te 5, Carroll 6, Jarvis 6. Subs: Taylor 6, Tomkins 6, Cole 6.
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- Frank Lampard