Didier Drogba got on the scoresheet as Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea made light of Diego Costa's absence in a 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
Costa, the scorer of 11 goals in 11 Barclays Premier League matches this season, missed the London derby at Stamford Bridge due to suspension, but that mattered little.
Chelsea legend Drogba led the line superbly as Jose Mourinho's unbeaten side, who top the table by six points, overcame a bright start from the visitors to win comfortably.
Harry Kane hit the crossbar early on for Spurs, but Chelsea responded with two quick-fire goals. Eden Hazard set Chelsea on their way in the 19th minute before Drogba netted less than 180 seconds later for his second Barclays Premier League goal of the season.
Substitute Loic Remy, who replaced Drogba, sealed the home win 17 minutes from time with Spurs unable to end a 24-year winless run at Chelsea.
Despite the absence of Costa, Chelsea fielded a familiar and settled line-up, while Spurs, fresh from three wins in four Barclays Premier League matches, made just one change with Roberto Soldado dropping to the bench.
Erik Lamela replaced Soldado for Spurs, who started brightly, and only the woodwork denied Kane in the seventh minute. Aaron Lennon, continuing to impress after a recent recall, crossed for Kane from the right and the striker peeled off Gary Cahill to steer a header onto the bar, with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois well beaten.
Kane then stripped Cahill off the ball in the 12th minute and charged into the box, only shooting just wide with his left foot.
The early chances buoyed the vocal travelling supporters, but they were soon silenced by a simple but brilliant Chelsea move. Hazard played a neat one-two with Drogba and the Belgian glided past three Spurs players before shooting under Lloris from a tight angle.
And Lloris was unable to prevent Chelsea’s second goal just three minutes later. Hazard fed Oscar and the Brazilian's excellent ball played in Drogba, who beat Jan Vertonghen and took two touches before slotting home.
Chelsea, happy with their two-goal lead, dropped the tempo slightly following Drogba's strike but Willian shot twice at Lloris towards the end of a busy first half.
Cahill took a knock to the head in the early stages, and was replaced at the break by Kurt Zouma, who had work to do early as Chelsea sat back.
Spurs were unable to find a way through, though, as Christian Eriksen tried his luck from distance and Vertonghen headed wide.
After Drogba left the field, his replacement, Remy, wrapped up the three points, beating Vertonghen with strength before side-footing past Lloris in stylish fashion to round off another superb Chelsea display.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho: "We played against a very good team and they showed that during some periods in the game.
“They started better than us and should have scored before us, but after our first goal our team became more stable and confident and we controlled the game. I'm really happy with the points, performance and spirit of the players."
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino: "I am very disappointed with the result, because 3-0 is hard. But we need to take some positives from the team tonight.
"I think that we started very well. We created some chances.
"The first chance they have, they score, and the second, they scored. After, the game changed. This, I think, was the difference tonight."
|06 Dec 2014||v Newcastle (A)|
|13 Dec 2014||v Hull (H)|
|22 Dec 2014||v Stoke (A)|
|26 Dec 2014||v West Ham (H)|
|28 Dec 2014||v Southampton (A)|
|01 Jan 2015||v Spurs (A)|