Frank Lampard scored twice to become Chelsea's all-time leading goalscorer as the Blues came back to win 2-1 against Aston Villa at Villa Park.
The victory all but guarantees the west London club a return to Champions League football next season, after moving five points clear of fourth-placed Arsenal and six ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, who lie fifth in the Premier League table.
Chelsea had to come from behind, after Christian Benteke put the hosts ahead with a well-taken solo effort just 14 minutes into the first-half.
The Belgian striker netted his 19th league goal in his debut season in England, after ghosting past the static Gary Cahill before drilling low past Petr Cech at his near post.
Chelsea's job to get back into the game became even harder after Rafa Benitez's side were reduced to ten-men before the interval, after Ramires was sent off following two bookable offences.
However, after the break Benteke went from hero to villain when he too saw red for a high-footed lunge on Chelsea captain John Terry, prompting his second yellow card of the afternoon.
Lampard drew the visitors level just after the hour mark with a neat left-footed finish from the edge of the Aston Villa box, equalling Bobby Tambling's record of 202 Chelsea goals.
Then, in the 88th minute the 34-year-old went one better, converting the match winner from close-range after some clever work by Eden Hazard on the left flank.
Benitez will be concerned by injuries to Terry, Juan Mata and Cesar Azpilicueta, but will be hoping to patch up his squad in time for Wednesday's Europa League final clash with Benfica in Amsterdam.
Aston Villa: Guzan; Lichaj, Vlaar, Bennett, Baker, Westwood, Delph, Sylla, Weimann, Agbonlahor, Benteke.
Subs not used: Given, Williams, N'Zogbia, Bent, Bowery, Holman, Gardner
Chelsea: Cech; Azpilicueta, Terry (Ivanovic 75'), Cahill, Cole; Ramires, Lampard, Hazard, Mata, Moses (Luiz 46'); Ba (Torres 88').
Subs not used: Turnbull, Oscar, Benayoun, Ake
Venue: Villa Park
Referee: Lee Mason
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