Chelsea restarted their top four push on Sunday with a 1-2 Premier League win at Aston Villa.
Frank Lampard’s side had to come from behind to secure the victory, which leaves Dean Smith’s Villa with an even steeper uphill battle to stave off relegation.
Kourtney Hause put the hosts in front just before the break, but a quickfire double from Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic and Olivier Giroud secured all three points for the Blues.
Chelsea created the better chances in the opening stages, as Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount both tested Villa keeper Orjan Nyland.
But despite barely creating anything in the opening 45 minutes, Villa buried the first chance of the game right on half time.
Centre back Hause showed a centre forward’s anticipation inside the box to scramble home after Blues stopper Kepa saved his initial effort.
But with Lampard’s half time message ringing in their ears, Chelsea snatched two goals inside two minutes after the break.
Christian Pulisic showed great technique to fire home Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross, before the Spaniard produced an identical pass for Olivier Giroud just sixty seconds later.
Villa did look to rally in the closing stages, but Dean Smith’s side simply ran out of ideas as Chelsea held on for a vital three points.
Final score: Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea