West Ham United 0-1 Chelsea: Hazard’s header enough for league leaders (video)

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Chelsea beat London rivals West Ham United 1-0 at Upton Park on Wednesday, as Jose Mourinho’s maintained their five-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

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Eden Hazard’s first half header proved to be the difference, as Chelsea twice went close in the second half through Ramires and withstood serious pressure from the Hammers.

With the win the Blues are still top on 63 points and have a five-point lead and a game in hand of second-placed Manchester City. As for West Ham, they slip to 10th after failing to win for the sixth-straight game.

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Chelsea went close to taking the lead early on as Oscar found some space but his ball across goal just missed Diego Costa, as West Ham were forced into an early defensive reshuffle with Winston Reid off injured.

The Hammers settled down after that, but in the 22nd minute Chelsea took the lead after a devastating counter attack saw Ramires clip in the ball and Hazard headed home. 1-0 to the Premier League leaders.

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West Ham dug deep as Diafra Sakho headed towards goal from close-range but Thibaut Courtois denied him as the home side pushed for an equalizer before the break but Chelsea hung on to go in level at the interval.

In the second half Chelsea tried to finish West Ham off, but the Hammers were fighting for every ball as Sakho forced Courtois into a stunning close-range save. Chelsea then came flying back as Costa and Hazard combined to set up Ramires but the Brazilian’s curling effort hit the post, and moments later Adrian saved his header to deny Chelsea.

West Ham continued to have a real go at Chelsea as Sakho was again denied by Courtois in the 72nd minute beforea nasty collision between Kouyate and John Terry saw a lengthy stoppage at Upton Park. In the final stages the Hammers continued to pile the pressure on Chelsea but the Blues held on to maintain their lead at the top of the table.

LINEUPS

West Ham United: Adrian, Jenkinson, Tomkins, Reid (Collins, 8′), Cresswell, Noble, Kouyate (Nene, 87′), Nolan, Downing, Valencia, Sakho

Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Zouma, Ramires, Fabregas, Oscar (Willian, 74′), Hazard (Remy 90+6′), Diego Costa (Drogba, 90+3′)

Goal: Hazard (22′)