Chelsea struck a significant blow in the fight for the top four places in the Premier League with a fully deserved victory over Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.
In a confrontation billed as a battle between Frank Lampard and his old mentor Jose Mourinho, Spurs could have leapfrogged Chelsea with victory but were outplayed and are now adrift by four points.
Lampard made four changes from the team that lost 2-0 at home to Manchester United on Monday and they paid rich dividends as they all made a contribution to only their second win in seven league games.
Olivier Giroud, in for Michy Batshuayi with Tammy Abraham on the bench after injury, fired low past Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris for Chelsea’s opener in the 15th minute after the recalled Ross Barkley hit the post.
And all four of those brought into the team linked up for Chelsea’s second three minutes after the break as Giroud’s flick found Mason Mount, who played in Barkley. He produced a perfectly weighted pass to Marcos Alonso, who did not even break stride before a sweet finish past Lloris.
Spurs’ day could have been even worse as Giovani lo Celso should have been sent off for a dreadful second-half challenge on Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta. The video assistant referee decided against punishment, although officials in Stockley Park later admitted a mistake had been made and he should have been sent off.
Mourinho’s side gave themselves late hope when Erik Lamela’s shot deflected in off Antonio Rudiger but in reality Spurs deserved nothing and Chelsea were worthy winners.