Chelsea went back to the top of the Premier League with a convincing 4-1 over London rivals West Ham.
Florent Malouda was the star of the show for Carlo Ancelotti’s side as he made two and scored one as the Blues’ overpowered Gianfranco Zola’s strugglers.
It was from the Frenchmen’s cross from which Alex headed home after 16 minutes after being left unmarked on the edge of the six yard box.
The goal came at a good time for the Blues;, just two minutes after Hammers striker Ilan had wasted a great opportunity to give the visitors a shock lead.
After Paulo Ferreria had failed to clear, the ball ran across the box to the Brazilian who somehow managed to fire over Ross Turnbull’s crossbar.
Chelsea responded by taking the lead, and could’ve doubled it just moments later when Malouda again caused problems with a cross, Matthew Upson and Didier Drogba tussled for the incoming ball, and it ended up coming back off the West Ham bar.
With Chelsea looking dangerous, and Malouda giving Spector a torrid time down the left it looked as if the visitors were in for a very long afternoon.
Scott Parker stunned Stamford Bridge on the half hour though, when he struck a dipping half volley over the stranded Turnbull to level things up.
There was some controversy about the goal though, as Kieron Dyer’s throw in, which was flicked on by Jon Obi Mikel into the path of Parker, wasn’t legal as the winger’s foot was clearly over the touchline, and his back foot in the air.
An air of frustration hung around Stamford Bridge going into the break, as the home side failed to turn their dominance into goals, but whatever Carlo Ancelotti said to his players at the interval had the desired effect, as 11 minutes into the second period the Blues were back in front.
John Terry surged forward from the back before finding Drogba, who laid it out wide to that man Malouda. The Frenchman then returning the ball to the head of the Ivorian for Drogba’s 20th league goal of the season.
Then it was roles reversed as Drogba controlled a high ball and found Malouda who danced into the West Ham box before passing it beyond Rob Green.
Frank Lampard was denied a goal against his former club as he hit a post from another cross from Malouda, before Drogba added his second in injury time, firing home after Green had failed to hold Lampard’s initial shot.
Joe Cole came on for an impressive cameo to boost his confidence amidst more rumours of contract breakdowns and missing out on the World Cup squad.
Stand in keeper Ross Turnbull had a quiet day, but did make a good save in injury time to boost his confidence ahead of the biggest night of his career on Tuesday.
After a commanding performance like this, and the news that Inter were beaten on Friday night means Ancelotti and co will be relishing the return of the Special One this week.
Chelsea: Turnbull, Ivanovic (Zhirkov 80), Ferreria, Terry, Alex, Lampard, Mikel, Ballack, Malouda (Kalou 87), Drogba, Anelka (J Cole 66).
Subs not used: Taylor, Bruma, Deco, Sturridge
West Ham: Green, Gabbidon, Upson, Spector, Daprela, Dyer (Stanislas 68), Parker, Kovac, Behrami, Ilan (Diamanti 83), Mido (Cole 67)
Subs not used: Stech, Tomkins, Collison, McCarthy.
Man of the Match: Florent Malouda