By Martyn Herman
Premier League leaders Chelsea chalked up another three points with a 1-0 victory at West Ham United on Wednesday to protect their five-point lead over champions Manchester City.
City, who laboured to a 2-0 win over bottom club Leicester City, might have hoped Chelsea would suffer a hangover from their League Cup final win over Tottenham Hotspur but Chelsea are made of sterner stuff and Eden Hazard’s header decided matters at Upton Park.
David Silva’s goal and a late effort from James Milner enabled City to stay in touch, although Manuel Pellegrini’s side were unimpressive at The Etihad Stadium where Leicester belied their lowly position.
Goals from Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez gave Arsenal a 2-1 victory at Queens Park Rangers to keep them third, nine points behind Chelsea.
Manchester United hung on to fourth, two points above resurgent Liverpool, with Ashley Young’s 89th-minute goal sealing a 1-0 win at Newcastle United.
Chelsea have 63 points from 27 games with City on 58 from a game more. Arsenal have 54 with United on 53.
Jordan Henderson scored for the second game running as in-form Liverpool beat Burnley 2-0 at Anfield to climb to fifth.
Tottenham rebounded from their Wembley disappointment to beat Swansea City 3-2 and stay in the hunt for a top-four finish, although the game was overshadowed by Swansea’s Bafetimbi Gomis fainting in the first half.
The French forward was carried off the pitch but remained conscious after medical treatment at the ground.
Everton’s worrying league form continued in a 2-0 defeat at Stoke City.