Liverpool kept up the pressure on Manchester United at the top of the Premier League table with a 3-1 win at Hull on Saturday.
With United playing Tottenham in an evening fixture, Rafael Benitez's side moved back to the top on goal difference thanks to a first-half strike from Xabi Alonso and a second-half double from Dirk Kuyt on his 100th Premier League appearance.
Alonso volleyed in just before half-time after his own free-kick had come back off the Hull wall.
By the time Kuyt headed in his first, in the 63rd minute, Hull had been reduced to ten men after Caleb Folan was dismissed for kicking out at Martin Skrtel.
Phil Brown's relegation-threatened side still managed to stage a late rally with Geovanni pulling a goal back but Kuyt killed the contest with a close-range effort one minute from time.
Chelsea left big guns Michael Essien, Michael Ballack and Didier Drogba on the bench for their trip to West Ham with one eye on Tuesday's trip to Barcelona for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final. But they still had sufficient quality, thanks largely to a superb penalty save from Petr Cech. Salomon Kalou's 55th-minute strike gave Guus Hiddink's men the lead but the Ivory Coast striker blotted his copybook by pulling down Herita Ilunga in the box to hand West Ham the opportunity to equalise.