Chelsea restored their 7 point lead at the top of the Premier League table with a comfortable win over Southampton at Stamford Bridge.
The blues had seen their advantage cut by Tottenham after their loss at Manchester United – but this was an emphatic response to follow on from Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final win against their London rivals.
Key players Eden Hazard and Diego Costa were back in the starting line-up, with Hazard giving Chelsea an early lead with a low shot after five minutes.
Former Chelsea midfielder Oriol Romeu followed through with an equalizer, before Gary Cahill placed a goal of his own, putting them back in front right on half-time.
Costa solidified Chelsea’s advantage with a header early in the second half before scoring his second with a low shot late on.
Ryan Bertrand, another former Chelsea man, scrapped up the final goal of the match in the last few minutes – but the victory was secured for Conte’s side. Second placers Tottenham Spurs must answer back with a win of their own at Crystal Palace on Wednesday (20:00 BST kick-off) to keep up with Chelsea in the title race.
Conte’s side is back on track after their loss at Manchester United with wins in the FA Cup semi-final and here at Stamford Bridge.
“We’ve put pressure on Spurs,” said goalscorer Hazard.
The tables have now been turned and it will be Spurs who will be feeling the pressure and the need to win when they travel to in-form Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
The spurst have shown their best performance since 1967 with seven straight league wins, but beating Crystal Palace will not be an easy task, a club who was close to the brink of relegation has now been rejuvenated after Sam Allardyce’s appointment as new manager, who have beaten Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in recent weeks.
Hazard (5′ minutes)
Cahill (45’+1 minutes)
Diego Costa (53′ minutes, 89′ minutes)
Romeu (24′ minutes)
Bertrand (90’+4 minutes)