A Thiago Silva header and late double from Tammy Abraham earned lacklusture Chelsea a 3-0 win over West Ham at Stamford Bridge.
Frank Lampard’s side, who had lost their last two in the Premier League, needed to get back on track against their London rivals and Silva’s powerful header on 10 minutes was the ideal start, after Declan Rice had a goal ruled out for offside.
The game descended into an attritional affair short on quality after that dramatic opening, but two sharp finishes from Abraham (78, 80) in two minutes sealed the three points which lift Chelsea above Tottenham, into fifth, while West Ham will spend Christmas in 10th spot.
West Ham did the double over Chelsea last season and thought they had got off to a flyer when Rice raced onto a quick free-kick from Aaron Cresswell and converted brilliantly from a tight angle on seven minutes – but an offside flag confirmed the midfielder had gone just too soon.
Birthday boy Ben Chilwell had turned his ankle moments earlier and was forced off on nine minutes – but despite that setback Chelsea hit the front seconds later, when Silva found some pace to head Mason Mount’s corner home.