Chelsea opened up the gap at the top of the table to ten points once again as the league leaders beat West Ham 2-1 on their first Premier League visit to the London Stadium.
West Ham started the match strongly as they looked for Andy Carroll up top, who aimed to cause the Chelsea defence problems all night. However, it was Chelsea who took the lead on 25 minutes. N’Golo Kante nicked the ball to spark a Chelsea counter-attack. Eden Hazard stayed onside before rounding Darren Randolph and slotting into an empty net to give the Blues a first half lead.
The home side failed to create any notable chances before the end of the first half as Chelsea went into the break one goal to the good. It was Chelsea who extended their lead just after the break. Diego Costa couldn’t believe his luck as he was left with a tap-in from a corner to hand Chelsea a two-goal lead.
Antonio Conte brought on Nemanja Matic and pushed Hazard up front alongside Costa to hold onto his lead. He was successful in doing so, but failed to keep a clean sheet as Manuel Lanzini pulled one back just a minute before the full-time whistle.
One player that impressed once again for Chelsea was Kante. The defensive midfielder has turned out to be one of the signings of the season, and put in yet another trademark performance in the Chelsea midfield on Monday night.
One of the areas where Kante has picked up criticism in the past is with his passing. But in this game he managed to impress with a 90% pass success rate. As usual, he was running around blunting the home attack throughout, and he managed 4 tackles and 1 interception in Chelsea’s 2-1 win against a West Ham side that has improved in quality recently.
Kante is a machine. I refuse to believe that he is not a robot. Incredible.
— Luke (@Unionic_94) 6 March 2017
May sound ridiculous but I think Kante is in the same bracket as Ronaldo and Messi. Never seen anyone like him; best at what he does by far.
— Alex Broom (@alexbroom_) 6 March 2017
What an incredible player Kante is. Break-up play, ball retention, crisp passing. And it’s all effortless #CFC
— Giles Lucas (@giles_lucas) 6 March 2017
Kante is the best player in the league without question
— ReecyReece (@reecyreece94) 6 March 2017
Kante is on a different planet
— JOSEPH (@boak_joseph) 6 March 2017
Whatever we pay Kante, it’s not enough
— The Chelsea Report (@TheChelsReport) 6 March 2017
Can we just give N’Golo Kanté the Ballon d’Or? #WHUCHE
— Maf Rahman (@MaafRahman) 6 March 2017
Kante gets more impressive every time I watch him, incredible player
— Peter Quill (@EthanHellin) 6 March 2017
Kante may have felt hard done by by not being awarded PFA Player of the Year last season, but after (almost certainly) winning back to back titles and being an integral part of both teams, surely Kante will be awarded the best player in the division for this campaign. He’s been phenominally consistent for Chelsea, and on the back of last season, he has shown that he, unlike some other Leicester City players, was not a one season wonder.