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Premier League: Chelsea go seven points clear after 2-0 win over West Brom

Chelsea stretched their lead at the top of the table with a comfortable 2-0 win over 10-man West Brom at Stamford Bridge.

Diego Costa set Chelsea on their way with the opener and the impressive Eden Hazard added a second to secure the win for Jose Mourinho's side as they set a new club record of 12 matches unbeaten from the start of a top-flight season.

West Brom were forced to play for an hour with just 10 men after Claudio Yacob, who was making his first Premier League start of the season, was sent off for a reckless challenge on Costa.

Chelsea came flying out of the blocks and went close to opening the scoring after just five minutes when West Brom were caught napping from a corner as Cesc Fabregas found John Terry inside the six-yard box and his close-range shot was brilliantly saved by the feet of Ben Foster.

The home side broke the deadlock on 11 minutes with top scorer Costa netting his 11th Premier League goal in just ten games.

Oscar picked out Costa inside the box and as the West Brom defenders appealed for offside the striker chested the ball down before volleying it past Foster from close range.

Foster came to West Brom's rescue on 15 minutes when he produced a fine one-handed save to keep out Oscar's swerving shot from the edge of the box and the keeper showed great reaction to prevent Costa scoring from the rebound.

Costa should have made it 2-0 on 19 minutes when he got in front of his marker to get on the end of Branislav Ivanovic's cross from the right, but the normall deadly striker slid his shot wide of the far post.

Chelsea did double their lead on 25 minutes as they again caught West Brom sleeping from a quickly taken corner as Fabregas found Hazard unmarked inside the box and the Belgian fired his deflected shot past Foster at his near post.

Things got worse for West Brom just before the half hour mark when Yacob was shown a straight red card by referee Lee Mason for a reckless two-footed tackle on Costa on the edge of the box.

It was all one-way traffic for the remainder of the first half with Foster working overtime to stop Costa scoring from Hazard's pass and then getting back to his feet quickly to stop Oscar latching onto the loose ball to score.

Chelsea picked up where they left off at the start of the second half and they really should have made it 3-0 seconds after the restart when Nemanja Matic ghosted into the box unmarked to get on the end of Hazard's pass, but with only Foster to beat the Serbian volleyed his shot over the crossbar.

The home side were in total control in the second half and it was a case of damage limitation for West Brom as they defended deep to frustrate Chelsea.

Foster denied Chelsea a third goal on 73 minutes when he rushed quickly off his line to block Hazard's shot with his feet after Fabregas had picked out the Belgian with a superb slide-rule pass.

Chelsea played out the closing stages with ease as they made it six straight wins at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League to further strengthen their grip at the top of the table.

Phil Thompson

"The run goes on. With the sending off after about half an hour of Yacob, it became Chelsea controlling the ball. It was routine. Ben Foster has had a magnificent game – but the two goals they conceded could have been prevented. For the first one, Costa was offside, but he was on his own. And the second one is similar, it is laid back to Hazard who is by the six-yard box who has time – awful defending. 

"Diego Costa did very well. He’s gone up in my estimation again. He went up for the ball with Craig Dawson, who caught him with his arm. There’s blood on the side of his shirt, but he comes back on, and acknowledged it as a fair challenge. But the man of the match was Ben Foster. He was superb. He made so many saves in this match. He was magnificent. 

"There’s still a long way to go and bigger clubs will come to town. But this is as near to perfect as I’ve seen this Chelsea team. They move the ball so quickly." 

Headlines for West Brom this week

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  • Premier League: Chelsea go seven points clear after 2-0 win over West Brom

  • Chelsea stretched their lead at the top of the table with a comfortable 2-0 win over 10-man West Brom at Stamford Bridge.

  • Premier League: West Brom boss Alan Irvine questions Costa goal in Chelsea defeat

  • West Brom boss Alan Irvine was unhappy with Chelsea's first goal in their defeat at Stamford Bridge, feeling Diego Costa was offside before he scored.

  • Rumours in the Press: Gunners target Moutinho move

  • Arsenal are to make a £30m bid for Joao Moutinho and could make Thierry Henry a coach, while Liverpool want Saido Berahino and Nathaniel Clyne.

  • Premier League: Jose Mourinho 'Mickey Mouse' jib is forgotten say WBA boss

  • Alan Irvine says his West Brom side will be model professionals when they travel to Chelsea for the first time since Jose Mourinho's infamous 'Mickey Mouse' jibe.

  • Premier League: Saido Berahino should not to fret about England snub, says Alan Irvine

  • West Brom boss Alan Irvine says there is no point in striker Saido Berahino sulking after failing to make his senior England debut in Glasgow.

  • La Liga: West Brom boss Alan Irvine offers backing to Real Sociedad manager David Moyes

  • West Brom boss Alan Irvine believes David Moyes will relish the opportunity to return to management with Real Sociedad.

  • Victor Anichebe warns West Brom team-mate Saido Berahino to keep calm after England call-up

  • Saido Berahino can be a success for years to come if he does not get "caught up in the hype", according to his West Brom strike partner.

  • Premier League: West Bromwich defender Jason Davidson open to loan

  • Australian defender Jason Davidson insists he is happy at West Brom but has admitted he may look for a loan move to help his international career with the Socceroos.

  • Transfer news: West Brom to loan out goalkeeper Luke Daniels

  • Sky Sports understands West Brom goalkeeper Luke Daniels is available for a move on loan.

  • Plenty of room for Berahino improvement

  • Saido Berahino's form made an England call-up inevitable, but the West Brom striker must improve to fulfil his potential, writes Adam Bate.

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