Chelsea maintained a 7-point advantage over 2nd placers Tottenham at the top of the Premier League with a hard-fought victory over Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola suffered league defeats home and away to the same opponents in a single league season for the first time in his managerial career as City are left to fight for a top-four place.
Eden Hazard gave Chelsea a 10th-minute lead when his shot deflected off returning City captain Vincent Kompany past keeper Willy Caballero, who should have done better.
Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois was also badly at fault when his poor clearance to David Silva set up Sergio Aguero’s equaliser after 26 minutes – but Chelsea were back in front before half-time.
They were awarded a penalty after Fernandinho tripped Pedro and even though Cabellero saved Hazard’s spot-kick, the rebound fell kindly for the Belgian to score.
City, who stay in fourth, had the better chances in a tense second period, with Kompany’s header bouncing back off the bar and John Stones shooting over from six yards in injury time. Chelsea, however, held on for a win that was even more vital given Tottenham’s dramatic late comeback at Swansea City.
This was arguably Chelsea’s biggest game since it followed the shock home loss to Crystal Palace and it was against a Manchester City side with the talent and capability to make this night at Stamford Bridge a real test of nerve.
Hazard provided the flourishes but manager Conte proved his pragmatism with the introduction of Nemanja Matic for Kurt Zouma at the start of the second half to attempt to lock down the win.
It worked to an extent but Chelsea also enjoyed good fortune as Kompany’s header bounced back off the bar and Stones somehow scooped an injury-time chance over the top.
Man City boss Pep Guardiola said post match: “It’s an honour to have the amazing players I have. We come here to Stamford Bridge and play the way we have, with huge personality. I’m a lucky guy to manage these guys.”