Frank Lampard's 200th goal eases Chelsea to win over West Ham
Chelsea 2-0 West Ham
Frank Lampard's 200th goal for Chelsea sent the Blues on their way to a convincing victory against West Ham, and ensured they took advantage of a second successive defeat for Tottenham.
Spurs old boy Dimitar Berbatov scored the solitary goal at White Hart Lane as Fulham collected three points, and Chelsea were able to climb into the Premier League's top three following their victory at Stamford Bridge.
Eden Hazard scored Chelsea's second in a lively display from the the young winger, who also provided Lampard with the opportunity to convert and secure another landmark.
The goal was Lampard's 12th in the Premier League for Chelsea this season - his best haul for three years - and leaves the midfielder needing a further three to overtake Bobby Tambling as the club's record scorer.
Lampard's double century was reward for classic endeavour from the 34-year-old, as he ghosted into the West Ham area to firmly place a header past Jussi Jaaskelainen after Hazard had stood the ball up on the penalty spot.
This significant strike must have tasted even sweeter for Lampard given the opposition, with the veteran still the subject of deafening objection from the West Ham support whenever the ball is under his control.
Shortly after Lampard and stooped to score, the Hammers thought they had a leveller through Andy Carroll, when the on loan Liverpool striker squeezed his shot past the advancing Petr Cech.
Matt Jarvis had done well to scurry his way to the by-line and squeeze out a cross, but Carroll was adjudged to have unfairly eased David Luiz out of contention to win the ball.
Aside from the tireless runs of Jarvis, West Ham offered little in terms of an attacking threat, and were fortunate to enter into the interval with a deficit of only one goal.
The visitors could have been buried by half-time, were it not for the profligacy of Demba Ba, who spurned three clear opportunities to provide Chelsea with a decisive lead.
The first came courtesy of a pass from Lampard as Ba turned off the shoulder of James Collins, but the former Hammer skewed his shot wide of Jaaskelainen's right post.
Ba streaked clear of the West Ham defence for an almost identical chance shortly before half-time but Jaaskekainen stayed big when the Senegalese weakly pulled the trigger.
A hat-trick of missed chances in the first peiod by Ba was completed when he again lacked conviction in the shot, allowing Jaaskelainen to smother the ball low to his right, having broken through the defensive line once again.
Hazard resumed for the second-half with a spring in his step; making a fool out of Joey O'Brien and Matt Taylor, before attempting to find a blue shirt in the West Ham area with a rabona cross.
His exuberance soon paid dividends for Chelsea when, five minutes after the break. the Belgian once again proved to be a cut above his opponents with a well taken goal after some rapid interchange.
Hazard controlled the ball on the right touchline, before engaging in a crisp one-two with Juan Mata, which allowed the former to zip across the area and divert his shot into the bottom right corner.
Any stuffing West Ham still had in them was knocked out by such an early goal in the second-half, although Jarvis continued to impress as he burrowed his way down the Chelsea left in an absorbing battle with Cesar Azpilicueta.
Chances continued to come for the home side, with Mata and Hazard imposing themselves on proceedings, and the former would have added a third were it not for the legs of Jaaskelainen.
West Ham went for two up top in the closing stages, with Carlton Cole partnering Carroll, but the former Chelsea forward was unable to affect proceedings, although did manage to bring a regulation stop from Cech.
Things have hardly been straightforward in the reign of Rafael Benitez at Chelsea, but the Blues have there have been few greater examples of simplicity than the triumph over West Ham.