Frank Lampard scored his 200th goal for Chelsea who moved into third place with a win over West Ham.
The Blues dominated the match at Stamford Bridge and took the lead in the first half when Lampard nodded in Eden Hazard's through ball.
Hazard added a second after the break when he cut in from the right and arrowed a strike past the reach of Hammers goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Chelsea should have won by more, but Demba Ba wasted several chances.
Momentum is with Blues - Benitez
Ba found himself in a one-on-one with Jaaskelainen. Luckily for the former Newcastle striker, Chelsea's midfielders bailed him out with outstanding individual performances.
The veteran of that pack, Lampard, will steal the headlines, but it was Hazard who was the star performer.
The Belgium international, who signed from Lille for about £32million last summer, was the catalyst for many of the Blues' attacks and produced a sublime goal.
Hazard's first telling contribution saw him fire in a wicked shot that West Ham's Finnish keeper could only fist back into play.
The ball eventually came back to Hazard on the edge of the area and his lofted pass was met with a firm header by Lampard. The England international is now only two goals away from equalling Bobby Tambling's club record tally.
Lampard scored his goal at the end where the away fans were sitting. He celebrated with substitute John Terry, who was warming up in that section of the ground, as objects were thrown from the crowd in their direction.
Chelsea's merry March
It's 12 years since the Blues last lost a Premier League home game in the month of March, a 4-2 defeat against Sunderland in 2001
The Metropolitan Police later confirmed they were investigating incidents of coin throwing, but that no arrests had been made.
Blues manager Rafael Benitez handed Victor Moses a start, and the former Wigan player narrowly failed to add to the home side's lead when his shot drifted wide. Central defender David Luiz also made forays forward, forcing a low save from Jaaskelainen, before striking a spectacular volley that screamed past the bar.
Chelsea finally got their second after the break, when Hazard teased his markers on the right, played a one-two with Juan Mata, before racing into the area and firing low inside the Hammers near post. It was a strike befitting of his classy performance.
Hazard could have added to his tally but was denied by Jaaskelainen and a block from Joey O'Brien.
West Ham did not cause much worry in the Chelsea defence. They did have the ball in the net when Andy Carroll slotted in after winning a jostle with Luiz, but referee Michael Oliver penalised the ex-Newcastle man for pushing the Brazilian.
Blues quality too much - Allardyce
Carroll won several aerial battles in the area but his headers were tame. It was not until the final five minutes that the Hammers created their best chance when substitute Carlton Cole forced Petr Cech to dive low to keep out his poked effort.
Chelsea's 16th win of the season moves them a point above Tottenham, who earlier lost to Fulham, and to within four points of second-placed Manchester City.
Benitez's side have a run of
six games in two weeks
when they resume after the international break on 30 March, but recent performances suggest they have the personnel to cope.
Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez:
"It was a good game, a great results, Frank scored his 200th, the team is third so it's a great week and a good moment for us.
"It is a long race, we have to carry on and win our next game and see what others do.
"In the first half, we could have scored two or three goals. You have to be pleased because we scored two goals and kept a clean sheet. We have to be a little disappointed because we could have finished it earlier.
"Demba Ba is a great finisher and today it was not his day.
"We will approach it one game at a time. We have to relax now and not get any injuries after the international break."
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce:
"Sometimes, you come to places like this and you have to hope the top players are not on song, but young Eden Hazard made life extremely difficult for us. The quality of the players in that area, including Juan Mata, with the support of Frank Lampard, was too much for us on the day.
"We had a couple of chances and you have to try and put them in the net. We did not do that and we have suffered for it. They deserved to win and we have to accept that. It is not going to define our season, beating them once is enough, beating them again would just be greedy.
"Andy Carroll had a couple of chances, and we would expect him to hit the target. If we get to 2-1, they might panic. The free-kick given for the disallowed goal on David Luiz was soft.
"Their second was brilliant. Hazard's trickery, pace and quality of finishing, the defenders could not cope with it.
"We would like six points and get to 39 points as quick as we can."
Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.
The ball is sent over by Frank Lampard, Guy Demel gets a block in.
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Matthew Jarvis, Carlton Cole produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box that clears the crossbar.
Eden Hazard takes a shot. Save made by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Frank Lampard takes a shot. Demba Ba gets a block in.
Jack Collison takes a shot. Blocked by Mikel. Foul by Matthew Taylor on Demba Ba, free kick awarded. Indirect free kick taken by John Terry.
The ball is sent over by Gary O'Neil, Petr Cech makes a save.
John Terry takes the free kick. A cross is delivered by Emboaba Oscar, Shot from deep inside the area by Frank Lampard clears the bar.
Substitution Mikel comes on in place of Juan Mata.
Foul by Carlton Cole on Gary Cahill, free kick awarded.
The ball is delivered by Matthew Jarvis, Carlton Cole takes a shot. Save made by Petr Cech.
Juan Mata produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
Ashley Cole delivers the ball, clearance made by Guy Demel. Inswinging corner taken by Juan Mata, Gary Cahill takes a shot. Save made by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Corner taken left-footed by Matthew Taylor, clearance made by Petr Cech.
Substitution (West Ham) makes a substitution, with Carlton Cole coming on for Ricardo Vaz Te.
Demba Ba produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the right-hand post.
Substitution John Terry on for David Luiz.
Unfair challenge on Matthew Jarvis by Demba Ba results in a free kick. Jussi Jaaskelainen restarts play with the free kick.
Eden Hazard takes a shot. Joey O'Brien gets a block in.
Guy Demel concedes a free kick for a foul on David Luiz. Indirect free kick taken by Petr Cech.
Strike comes in from David Luiz from the free kick.
Booking The referee shows Guy Demel a yellow card.
Foul by Guy Demel on Eden Hazard, free kick awarded.
Andy Carroll fouled by Gary Cahill, the ref awards a free kick. Gary O'Neil restarts play with the free kick.
Frank Lampard fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick, save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Booking Winston Reid receives a caution.
The ball is sent over by Gary O'Neil, Andy Carroll takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech. Foul by Winston Reid on Juan Mata, free kick awarded.
Substitution Emboaba Oscar is brought on as a substitute for Victor Moses.
Gary O'Neil takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.
James Tomkins produces a cross, save by Petr Cech.
Guy Demel produces a cross, David Luiz makes a clearance.
Centre by Eden Hazard, clearance by Winston Reid.
The ball is swung over by Matthew Taylor.
Matthew Taylor produces a cross, clearance made by Nascimento Ramires. Matthew Taylor takes a inswinging corner to the near post, clearance made by Frank Lampard.
Corner taken left-footed by Matthew Taylor from the right by-line, Ashley Cole manages to make a clearance.
Substitution James Collins goes off and James Tomkins comes on.
Matthew Jarvis delivers the ball.
Juan Mata takes a shot. Blocked by Joey O'Brien.
Matthew Jarvis sends in a cross, Andy Carroll produces a header from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.
Andy Carroll takes a shot. Petr Cech makes a save.
Juan Mata takes a shot. Save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Jack Collison takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.
The ball is crossed by Cesar Azpilicueta, Frank Lampard produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.
The assist for the goal came from Juan Mata.
49:18 Goal scored
Goal - Eden Hazard - Chelsea 2 - 0 West Ham Eden Hazard gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Chelsea 2-0 West Ham.
Centre by Eden Hazard, clearance by Guy Demel.
Matthew Taylor takes a shot. Petr Cech makes a comfortable save.
The second half begins.
Substitution Matthew Taylor replaces Mohamed Diame.
45:00 +2:34 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.
Demba Ba is caught offside. James Collins takes the free kick.
Ricardo Vaz Te takes a shot. Petr Cech makes a save.
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Eden Hazard, clearance by Jack Collison.
Demba Ba takes a shot. Save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Demba Ba takes a shot. Save by Jussi Jaaskelainen. Frank Lampard has an effort at goal from long range that misses to the right of the goal.
Mohamed Diame takes a shot. Blocked by Nascimento Ramires.
Guy Demel gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Eden Hazard. Juan Mata crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by James Collins. David Luiz has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
Juan Mata produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the goal.
Cesar Azpilicueta crosses the ball, Victor Moses has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.
Shot by Eden Hazard from 12 yards. Comfortable save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Cesar Azpilicueta by Matthew Jarvis. Petr Cech takes the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Mohamed Diame on Frank Lampard. David Luiz has an effort direct from the free kick, save made by Jussi Jaaskelainen. Juan Mata takes the inswinging corner, save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Gary O'Neil concedes a free kick for a foul on Eden Hazard. Direct free kick taken by Eden Hazard.
The ball is crossed by Matthew Jarvis, Effort from inside the area by Andy Carroll misses to the right of the goal.
Andy Carroll concedes a free kick for a foul on David Luiz. David Luiz restarts play with the free kick.
Unfair challenge on Frank Lampard by Mohamed Diame results in a free kick. Cesar Azpilicueta restarts play with the free kick.
The ball is crossed by Matthew Jarvis, free kick awarded for a foul by Andy Carroll on David Luiz. Petr Cech takes the free kick.
Foul by Mohamed Diame on Nascimento Ramires, free kick awarded. Cesar Azpilicueta takes the direct free kick.
Short corner worked by Juan Mata.
The assist for the goal came from Eden Hazard.
18:08 Goal scored
Goal - Frank Lampard - Chelsea 1 - 0 West Ham Frank Lampard finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the penalty area. Chelsea 1-0 West Ham.
Eden Hazard takes a shot. Save made by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Eden Hazard fouled by Gary O'Neil, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Juan Mata, James Collins makes a clearance. Juan Mata produces a cross.
Centre by Eden Hazard, clearance made by Joey O'Brien. Inswinging corner taken by Juan Mata from the right by-line. Nascimento Ramires crosses the ball, Jussi Jaaskelainen makes a save.
Ricardo Vaz Te produces a cross, blocked by Ashley Cole.
Corner from the right by-line taken by Gary O'Neil, Mohamed Diame takes a shot. Unfair challenge on Matthew Jarvis by Nascimento Ramires results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by James Collins.
The ball is delivered by Demba Ba, clearance made by James Collins.
The ball is swung over by Matthew Jarvis, blocked by Cesar Azpilicueta.
Andy Carroll fouled by Nascimento Ramires, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Gary O'Neil from right channel, clearance by Nascimento Ramires. Effort on goal by James Collins from just outside the area goes harmlessly over the target.
Effort from the edge of the area by Demba Ba goes wide of the right-hand upright.
Effort from deep inside the area by Demba Ba misses to the right of the goal.
David Luiz challenges Andy Carroll unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ricardo Vaz Te fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
A cross is delivered by Eden Hazard, save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
The referee gets the game started.
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