Chelsea rode a dominate first half for the 3-0 victory over West Ham United on Saturday at Upton Park.
The Blues moved past Southampton into third on the table after the Saints fell to first-place Arsenal 2-0 earlier in the day. Chelsea will have the opportunity to create more distance from Southampton when the clubs meet at Stamford Bridge on Dec. 1 after Champions League play.
Midfielder Frank Lampard notched two goals off a penalty in the 21st minute and a right-footed rebound shot from the top of the box in the 82nd. New team scoring leader Oscar also tucked away his fifth goal in the 34th minute off Eden Hazard’s second assist of the season.
Limited in their attack with a lack of strikers, West Ham overloaded their midfield, but struggled with three offsides flags and zero shots on goal.
Joe Coles and Kevin Nolan recorded back-to-back attempts in the 19th minute, but both were thwarted by the Blues backline.
Two ticks later, Irons keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen conceded a penalty to Oscar in the area, which Lampard converted to a powerful strike down the middle of the net.
Off a back-heel through ball from Hazard, Oscar followed up by slithering through the West Ham defense and slung a shot low to the ground past Jaaskelainen.
Though Jaaskelainen recorded five saves, it proved a difficult day for and the Irons defense, which had previously conceded a minuscule 11 goals on the year.
The Blues' Petr Cech was barely tested throughout the match, as he picked up his fourth clean sheet.
Currently covering NBA, NFL, MLB, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona, focusing on trades, controversy, and injury updates. Joined IB Times in August 2012.