The Premier League was won at Stamford Bridge last season and it moved a significant step closer to being won there again last night with this result.
Chelsea delivered the title to Leicester City by drawing with Tottenham Hotspur last May but are closing in on retaking it for themselves following a defining victory over Manchester City as they completed an impressive league double over Pep Guardiola’s side.
It felt like it would be an even more emphatic evening with Spurs losing, until late on, away to Swansea City before their extraordinary turnaround. They will not go away and the title race is certainly not over, not yet – the gap remains at seven points with eight matches to play – but City’s involvement in it is.
For City it was yet another disappointing result, yet another performance where they were victims of their own downfall – complicit in both of Eden Hazard’s goals – and for all their fine attacking football they still have a lot of work to do to remain in the top four.
A pattern was set, early – City possession and Chelsea pouncing. It quickly came to fruition for the home side when they surged into the lead, over-turning the ball through Eden Hazard, spreading it wide with Cesar Azpilicueta – pushed forward as a wing-back in the absence of the injured Victor Moses – cutting it back for Hazard who struck a first-time shot that brushed against Vincent Kompany. It was a blur.
Goalkeeper Willy Caballero was wrong-footed but, still, the ball was not taken far enough away for him not to save and his effort was weak as he was beaten. Chelsea were ahead.