Chelsea moved 10 points clear at the top of the table thanks to goals from Eden Hazard and Diego Costa
The scoreline is slightly deceptive. It makes the game look closer than it was. Chelsea were always comfortable and declared after going 2-0 up early in the second half. Eden Hazard and Diego Costa got the goals and next for the leaders is the visit of Manchester United in the FA Cup next Monday. West Ham were poor despite Manuel Lanzini’s late consolation. They stay 11th, behind Southampton on goal difference. Thanks for reading and emailing. Bye.
Related: Chelsea restore 10-point lead at top of Premier League after win at West Ham
That’s it. Chelsea move 10 points clear at the top of the table.
90 min+3: There’s surely not enough time left for West Ham to find an equaliser.
The comeback’s on! Andre Ayew dribbles through the middle and manages to work it to Lanzini in space on the right of the area. He hammers it low past Courtois.
90 min: There will be three minutes of added time, meaning there’s enough time for me to calmly note that the London Stadium is a sick joke.
89 min: Carroll almost makes contact with a cross for the first time, but doesn’t.
86 min: Costa is down and he’s angry. He soon gets to his feet. Obviously he’s still angry.
83 min: “Andy Carroll can’t jump?” says Peter Oh. “That can’t be good for his valuation in the Chinese Super League. However, his apparent ability to perform stepovers should ensure that his price tag stays above the 30 million quid mark.”
82 min: Willian gives Fabregas a sight of goal. He can’t believe he sidefoots over.
80 min: The ground is emptying.
77 min: Edimilson Fernandes replaces Mark Noble. West Ham have used their three subs now.
76 min: Chelsea make their final change, Kurt Zouma on for Victor Moses.
75 min: Chelsea bring on Willian for Eden Hazard.
74 min: Carroll has barely been able to jump tonight. Is he even fit? Anyway, Noble gets through some nice work on the left, but sees his low ball blocked behind for a corner.
72 min: Very little of any note is taking place.
71 min: Obiang skews a shot well wide from 25 yards.
67 min: Hazard superbly flicks a pass in between two West Ham defenders and finds Costa, who spins and lets fly with a vicious shot, all in one movement. The Chelsea fans are already celebrating, but Randolph somehow tips wide for a corner.
66 min: Huff. Puff.
65 min: Nemanja Matic replaces Pedro.
64 min: West Ham bring on Andre Ayew and Sam Byram for Sofiane Feghouli and the limping Winston Reid.
63 min: Both teams are preparing substitutions.
61 min: From Snodgrass’s corner, Courtois flaps and Chelsea lose their composure a little. West Ham keep it alive in the area, Snodgrass chipping to the far post again, and after an air shot from Fonte, Feghouli controls and lashes it goalwards. His shot beats Courtois, but there’s Moses on the ball to clear. West Ham continue to hammer on the door, though, and when Reid lobs the ball into the middle from the left, Fonte heads just over. That’s the closest West Ham have come.
60 min: Snodgrass races on to Lanzini’s cute pass and wins a corner off Azpilicueta.
57 min: Chelsea have killed this off so crushingly. They let West Ham have their fun, but on their terms. Then they pounced.
56 min: West Ham have lost all conviction.
54 min: Carroll does a stepover, just because, and shoots from 25 yards. His effort lands on the top of the net.
53 min: Alonso tricks his way past Fonte brilliantly but he’s stretching as he shoots and prods a few yards wide of the far post.
52 min: Lanzini hopefully shoots from 25 yards. But no.
Game over. Fabregas’s corner is headed on by Obiang at the near post and Diego Costa nudges it over the line from close range. Awful defending. Everyone can go home.
50 min: A West Ham attack breaks down and Chelsea break, Hazard outrageously back-flicking the ball to a team-mate. They surge up field and Alonso wins a corner on the left. And…
49 min: Kante gives the ball away – we are contractually obliged to call this an “uncharacteristic error” – and Snodrgass wins a corner on the left. He takes it. But he mishits it.
47 min: There are lot of empty seats inside the London Stadium.
46 min: West Ham get the second half underway.
On Sky, Jamie Carragher cannot fathom why West Ham’s defenders went up for the free-kick before Chelsea’s goal when Manuel Lanzini was lining up a shot. It’s a fair question.
This is what inevitability feels like.
45 min+4: “I think that Chelsea kit is ‘light black’ rather than ‘dark blue’, unless you’re a tetrachromat or something like that..?” says JJ.
45 min+3: Snodgrass’s free-kick is cleared and Chelsea are off again. Hazard leads the lightning charge, finding Costa, who shuffles it on to Alonso. But the Spaniard’s crowded out. West Ham get away with it.
45 min+2: Cesc Fabregas picks up the first booking for barging Cresswell over. Snodgrass will swing this in.
45 min+1: There will be four minutes of stoppage time.
45 min: Cresswell hobbles back on. He’s quickly back into the swing of things, deflecting a Moses cross behind for a corner.
44 min: Cresswell seemed to jar his knee while blocking Moses’s shot. West Ham are down to 10 men for the time being. They’ll do everything they can not to get Arthur Masuaku on.
41 min: Hazard scampers clear down the left, Jose Fonte wandering off for a walk to grab a cup of tea and letting the Belgian skedaddle away, but he can’t find Costa in the middle. A scramble still ensues, though. Moses looks certain to score. But no! Cresswell heroically blocks his effort! Pedro has a go. Randolph beats it away and West Ham survive. But Cresswell is down in the middle. He’s hurt himself.
40 min: Lanzini, quiet so far, suddenly shows a change of pace and combines with Noble, who cleverly tees him up for a drive from 18 yards. Lanzini should do better, but he blazes it miles over. He hit it so far over it might just have reached the second or third row behind the goal!
39 min: Obiang loses possession to Kante in a danger area and the brilliant Chelsea midfielder threads a pass to Pedro on the right. But Obiang redeems himself with a fine challenge, just when Pedro seemed to have earned space for a shot.
38 min: West Ham badly miss Michail Antonio’s pace and energy. He makes things happen.
36 min: Pedro tries to find Hazard with a pass from right to left, but it’s too close to Randolph.
34 min: For all that West Ham pressure before the goal, Chelsea didn’t once come close to conceding the opener. They are so solid.
32 min: Feghouli does a kick straight to Hazard. Kouyate flies through the back of Hazard. An inauspicious little spell for West Ham.
29 min: Cresswell crosses. Carroll is not in the middle.
27 min: This is what champions do.
For once, West Ham don’t chuck the ball into the Chelsea area and this is what happens. Mark Noble cheaply concedes possession with a poor pass, Kante inevitably stepping in, and Chelsea are finally off. For the first time, they’ve got pace and for the first time, they’ve got their flow. Eden Hazard scoots off with menace high on his agenda, swaps passes with Pedro, rounds Darren Randolph and slides it into the empty net. This is utterly ruthless. Chelsea have done very little in attack and now look!
25 min: Lanzini kerblammos his effort straight into the wall. And…
24 min: Obiang pings a fine pass out to Cresswell on the left. One touch, cross. Cahill heads away from Carroll. Chelsea can’t properly clear their lines, though, and West Ham win a free-kick 25 yards from goal. Send for Payet!
22 min: Snodgrass’s free-kick is a waste, easily claimed by Courtois.
21 min: Carroll dribbles through the middle, like a dancing horse, but Kante brings him down around 40 yards from goal. Just as well, there were only three Chelsea defenders back to deal with him.
20 min: Costa momentarily finds space on the edge of the area, but Fonte is firm with him. West Ham’s intensity has been so impressive. Whether they can maintain it remains to be seen. And Chelsea have dealt with this kind of thing before.
18 min: Snodgrass hoists it high to the far post. Cahill and Carroll challenge for it. The Chelsea man heads it behind. Snodgrass sends in a curling inswinger this time. Kouyate attacks it and Courtois looks uncertain, but Moses heads it away. Moments later, Kouyate gets a bit too excited and fouls David Luiz.
17 min: Snodgrass finds space on the left again, Lanzini picking him out. His cross is poor, though. West Ham win back possession. Snodgrass schemes on the left again. This time he wins a corner.
16 min: Carroll hares off after a Randolph punt and throws himself into an aerial challenge, beating Azpilicueta to the ball and nodding it to Snodgrass. The winger knows his job. He doesn’t take long to lob a cross into the area. But it’s not in Carroll’s vicinity. Feghouli picks up possession on the right. Back to Noble. Another cross. David Luiz heads clear.
14 min: Chelsea probe for a while. West Ham deal with a couple of hopeful high balls into their area.
12 min: Snodgrass burrows down the left wing, in the style a man named Snodgrass does, and somehow manages to force his way past a couple of Chelsea challenges. David Luiz squeezes him out, though.
10 min: Gary Cahill’s torn his shirt. He’ll need a new one. It’s all happening.
9 min: West Ham have started brightly here and Chelsea look content to sit back and absorb the pressure for the time being.
8 min: Snodgrass finally whips the corner in from the right, but Courtois acrobatically pushes it away and Chelsea look to counter. A loose pass lets West Ham off the hook, though. With the ball out of play, Carroll’s allowed back on.
7 min: Carroll is still receiving treatment. I doubt he’ll be allowed to stay on for the corner, which is precisely what West Ham don’t need.
6 min: West Ham enjoy a decent spell of possession and Kouyate slips a pass down the right to Feghouli, who lifts a cross towards Carroll. This is the kind of delivery the big man needs. But, er, Victor Moses beats him to it and clobbers Carroll on the nose for good measure. The loose ball comes to Cresswell, who sees his shot deflected wide for a corner. Before it can be taken, though, Carroll will need some treatment. He’s got a bloody nose.
4 min: Fabregas tosses the free-kick into the West Ham area, but it’s too high and Randolph claims the cross.
3 min: Chelsea attack down the left, Hazard sneaking forward. Kouyate brings him down.
2 min: There’s a fine old atmosphere out there. The West Ham fans are advising their Chelsea counterparts about places to put blue flags, but this is a family website, so we’ll leave it there.
And we’re off! Chelsea, in their dark blue away strip, get the game underway. They’re kicking from right to left in the first half and instantly look to catch West Ham by surprise, David Luiz launching a huge raking pass forward for Pedro. Winston Reid’s out of position, but Pedro can’t bring it down.
Here they come! The players are out at the London Stadium, the bubbles are floating around the place and the match is about to begin!
“Disturbingly, located between the team badges at the London Stadium in your photo are the eyes of Darth Maul,” says Ian Copestake. “Given the nature of his demise I hope we do not get a game of two halves.”
I thought it was Deadpool.
It’s a question we’ve asked a lot this season…
Why have #WHUFC struggled at home?@MichailAntonio has the answer. pic.twitter.com/0EZxNYm338
“This league is very tough,” Antonio Conte says. “To be in this position, we must be very proud.” That’s the pre-match interviews done. Not long until kick-off now.
Slaven Bilic is running through Chelsea’s various threats. He says he’ll be starting with four at the back. “Or maybe six,” he adds with a chuckle.
Both managers are asked about the returning Andy Carroll.
“We know what he is capable of,” Slaven Bilic says. “We are expecting a lot.”
“You may be able to name Chelsea’s best 11 off by heart but surely they have not achieved the ultimate title contender status of being easily imagined as cartoon characters,” says Ian Copestake. “After all they’ve only got one comedy villain.”
There is a lack of comedy villains in this league. Perhaps Chelsea should sign Pepe.
West Ham make one enforced change. They don’t have Michail Antonio’s energy in attack because of his red card against Watford, but Andy Carroll returns from a groin injury to lead the attack. He scored twice against Chelsea last season.
One area Chelsea will look to exploit will be West Ham’s weakness at right-back. Cheikhou Kouyate, who gave a penalty away against Watford, fills in at right-back. Tonight he’s up against Eden Hazard, who’s shaken off an injury concern. Chelsea are as expected. It’s always a good sign when you can name a title contender’s best 11 off by heart.
West Ham: Randolph; Kouyate, Fonte, Reid, Cresswell; Obiang, Noble; Feghouli, Lanzini, Snodgrass; Carroll. Subs: Adrian, Collins, Masuaku, Byram, Fernandes, Ayew, Calleri.
Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Alonso; Pedro, Costa, Hazard. Subs: Begovic, Terry, Zouma, Matic, Loftus-Cheek, Willian, Batshuayi.
Hello. Let’s see how far we can get before saying pwopa nawtee. Not that far! But hopefully that’s the last time we’ll have to pretend to be Danny Dyer. Things got a bit heated in the stands the last time Chelsea visited everyone’s favourite athletics arena, but everyone’s promised to be on their best behaviour and security has been ratcheted up to Bond Villain’s Lair Levels, so hopefully there won’t be a repeat of the disgraceful scenes that marred October’s League Cup tie.
West Ham won that match, of course, on a rare enjoyable outing for them in their weird new home. But that was against a slightly weakened Chelsea – Michy Batshuayi started – and Antonio Conte haven’t really been in the business of losing league matches against teams of West Ham’s calibre. Chelsea won’t just be out for revenge here, they’ll be desperate to respond after wins for Manchester City and Tottenham yesterday and move 10 points clear at the top with 10 games to go. It probably won’t have escaped their attention that Arsenal and Manchester City have both won heavily in Stratford this season.