Diego Costa fired a controversial winner as Chelsea edged out West Ham 2-1 in Antonio Conte’s first game in charge, but the Spain striker was lucky to be on the pitch after a lunging challenge on Adrian.
Costa was booked for dissent in a goalless first-half, but referee Anthony Taylor refused to take action when the forward upended the West Ham goalkeeper during the second period.
Eden Hazard’s well-struck penalty handed Chelsea the early second-half lead, only for defender James Collins to produce a fine equalising strike.
But just when West Ham thought they would hold firm for a hard-fought point, up popped Costa with a smartly-struck winner, but one that would doubtless anger visiting boss Slaven Bilic.
A cagey first-half yielded just two saves in total, West Ham stopper Adrian holding firm for both Branislav Ivanovic’s near-post nudge and Willian’s curling free-kick.
Hazard ought to have handed Chelsea the lead after ghosting into West Ham’s box but curled his low effort wide of the upright.
West Ham missed Dimitri Payet’s ingenuity from the outset but the France star started on the bench given his phased reintegration after Euro 2016.
All Chelsea’s star names were on show by contrast, and one leading light who dimmed markedly last season stepped up to hand the hosts the lead.
Hazard blasted into the roof of the net from the penalty spot to open the second half, after Michail Antonio had fouled Cesar Azpilicueta.
West Ham boss Bilic made his feelings on Antonio’s crude challenge on Azpilicueta clear by hooking him moments after Chelsea took the lead.
Willian forced a fine save from Adrian with a neat shot across goal as Chelsea sought to ram home their dominance, but just when they sought to close out a victory, Collins, pictured, turned the unlikely hero. There was nothing rough about the rugged defender’s crisp equalising strike, blasting home with 15 minutes to play. The leveller had Bilic jumping for joy on the touchline, but that elation proved all too short-lived thanks to Costa’s late winner.