RUTHLESS Chelsea extended Tottenham’s torment at Stamford Bridge with a 3-0 win which saw Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten Blues consolidate their lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League.
Scorers: Chelsea - Hazard (19), Drogba (22), Remy (73)
Spurs were bidding for a first win at their rivals’ west London home since February 1990 at the 28th attempt and began well, with Harry Kane hitting the crossbar with an early header.
There was a sense the visitors had to take an opportunity when enjoying the early supremacy and their failure to do so was punished by two goals in four first-half minutes through Eden Hazard and Didier Drogba.
Drogba, deputising for suspended striker Diego Costa, returned a pass to Hazard, whose shot squirmed under Hugo Lloris to give Chelsea a 19th-minute lead.
Worse was to follow for the France goalkeeper as his dreadful clearance went straight to Hazard, who found Oscar, with the Brazilian playing the kind of pin-point pass Drogba relishes.
The striker’s fifth of the season – and 162nd Chelsea goal – effectively ended the match as a contest and ensured Mourinho’s men would extend their unbeaten start to the season to 21 matches ahead of this weekend’s trip to Newcastle.
Substitute Loic Remy embarrassed the hapless Jan Vertonghen in netting Chelsea’s third to complete a comfortable victory.
It was not all positive for Chelsea as Nemanja Matic will miss the trip to St James’ Park through suspension after picking up his fifth booking of the campaign, while Gary Cahill could be a doubt after going off at half-time following an earlier clash of heads.
Chelsea, who lost at Newcastle last season, remain six points clear of second-placed Manchester City, the defending champions, with Spurs 16 points adrift in 10th spot.
Tottenham, who play Crystal Palace on Saturday, will hope to climb the table before their next contest with Chelsea, on New Year’s Day at White Hart Lane.
Aaron Lennon neglected to follow the run of Hazard, whose shot beat the unconvincing Lloris at the near post to give Chelsea the lead.
Lloris then presented Hazard with the ball midway inside the Spurs half. Two passes later it was 2-0.
Hazard played it centrally to Oscar, who threaded the ball through to Drogba, who shook off the attentions of Vertonghen and finished with aplomb. Spurs were deflated.
Drogba needed assistance in departing the field at half-time, but did return for the second half. Cahill did not, with Kurt Zouma on in his place.
Spurs failed to test Kurt Zouma in what had almost turned into a defensive drill for Chelsea, who were content to play on the counter-attack.
Speculative shots were about all Spurs could muster and manager Mauricio Pochettino turned to his bench, with Paulinho and Nacer Chadli replacing the ineffective duo Mason and Lennon. Tottenham still lacked energy and were being outplayed by a 36-year-old veteran. The Ivory Coast striker was then granted his leave as Remy came on with 23 minutes to go.
The France forward made his mark six minutes later, brushing off Vertonghen and passing into the corner to complete the rout.
Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Fabregas, Matic, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Drogba. Subs: Cech, Luis, Zouma, Mikel, Schurrle, Salah, Remy.
Tottenham: Lloris, Chiriches, Fazio, Vertonghen, Davies, Mason, Bentaleb, Lamela, Eriksen, Lennon, Kane. Subs: Kaboul, Paulinho, Soldado, Vorm, Dier, Naughton, Chadli.