Loic Remy’s late winner in a five-goal cracker at Hull City restored Chelsea’s six-point lead over Manchester City at the summit of the Premier League table.
Chelsea were 2-0 up in the opening ten minutes, courtesy of Eden Hazard 2nd-minute strike and Diego Costa’s effort seven minutes later.
Steve Bruce’s men equalised in the space of 74 seconds with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois gifting the Tigers’s record signing Abel Hernandez a leveler after failing to control Branislav Ivanovic’s back pass.
Loic Remy, moments after coming on for Costa, scored with his first touch 13 minutes from time.
Jose Mourinho’s men still have Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool to play in their remainder nine matches and will be delighted to have rescued maximum points despite an inconsistent performance.
The Blues were at their predatory best in the opening quarter but crumbled in the space of 28 minutes.
Hull however laid their hand on a significant piece of landmark after producing the quickest back-to-back goals of the league season- beating Chelsea’s 2 goals in 77 seconds against Swansea- however, could not hold on to a draw and remain only three points clear of the drop zone.
Hazard broke the deadlock after 87 seconds as Nemanja Matic fed Costa, who laid off to Hazard and the Belgian finished wonderfully from the edge of the area for his 16th goal of the season.
Cesc Fabregas then set Costa free down the left flank to capitalise on a Michael Dawson’s slow response and curl into the top corner- his 19th goal of the season.
Chelsea’s momentum dropped and were soon picking the ball out of their net, when Ahmed Elmohamandy tapped in at the far post from Andrew Robertson’s well-weighted cross.
Courtois then lost concentration to allow Hernandez slot in and bring the game back on level pegging.
Hull continued to search for the winning strike in the second half and thrice stopped shot at Courtois’ brilliance.
Remy came off the bench to send his shot through Alan McGregor’s legs from a Willian centre, enough to sustain Chelsea’s lead.
Elsewhere, Aaron Lennon scored his first goal for Everton in a hard-fought 2-1 win at Queens Park Rangers.
Seamus Coleman opened scores for the Toffees but QPR substitute Eduardo Vargas leveled.