Gary Cahill made amends for conceding a penalty by scoring a late winner as Chelsea beat Stoke 2-1 to move 13 points clear atop the English Premier League on Saturday.
The England center back smashed home from close range following a corner in the 87th minute to seal a fifth straight victory for the likely champions.
Willian’s free kick put Chelsea ahead in the 13th, and Jonathan Walters equalized from the penalty spot in the 37th after the striker was nudged by Cahill.
Stoke right back Phil Bardsley was sent off in second-half stoppage time after collecting a second yellow card for a foul on Cesc Fabregas.
Chelsea won without star winger Eden Hazard, who was missing because of an unspecified injury.
Tottenham and Manchester City, who are tied on points and the nearest challengers to Chelsea, both play on Sunday.
Vardy steers Leicester to 1st away win
Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez revived memories of Leicester City’s title-winning campaign Saturday as the recovery under Craig Shakespeare continued with a 3-2 victory at West Ham United that eases the champion’s relegation fears.
Since manager Claudio Ranieri’s firing, the Premier League champions have reeled off three successive victories to move six points clear of the relegation zone and sealed a first-ever place in the Champions League quarterfinals.
Leicester’s title defense has been so pitiful that it has taken until March and a trip to the Olympic Stadium to finally win an away game in the league — but only thanks to the second-half saves from goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
Mahrez, who scored 17 goals last season in the astonishing charge to the title, put Leicester in front in east London after five minutes with only his fifth goal of the current campaign. The Algerian’s two goals in the three league games since Shakespeare took charge are as many as he managed in the previous 22 games under Ranieri, an alarming drop in form that was mirrored across the team.
Robert Huth’s header doubled Leicester’s lead within two minutes of Mahrez’s opener. After Manuel Lanzini pulled one back directly from a free kick, Jamie Vardy restored the two-goal cushion in the 38th minute with his third goal in the three league games under Shakespeare.
The striker had gone two months without a goal before this run of three wins in which Leicester has scored three times in each.
Vardy’s goal proved decisive after Andre Ayew’s second-half header put West Ham back in control. Ayew missed a chance to level when he struck over and Andy Carroll was twice denied from close range by Schmeichel.
Sunderland in deep trouble
Sunderland’s hopes of avoiding relegation suffered another blow in a goalless stalemate with Burnley, who picked up only their third away point in the Premier League this season.
A poor game was short on chances for either side although Sunderland will rue missing the best two.
Sebastian Larsson blazed over with the Burnley goal gaping just after halftime and Fabio Borini was then denied in stoppage time by a great save from Tom Heaton.
Burnley held on for a point and remain in 12th spot, while bottom club Sunderland are now seven points from the safety zone having not won at home since December.