Timo Werner gave Chelsea a 1-0 away win over West Ham as Thomas Tuchel’s side took a giant step towards finishing in the top four.
The German coach made six changes to the team that drew 0-0 against Brighton on Tuesday night with Michail Antonio, Aaron Cresswell and Declan Rice all missing for West Ham through injury.
Both struggled to create much in the first half, but Werner gave Chelsea the lead just two minutes from the break, side-footing a finish into the back of the net after being set up by Ben Chilwell down the left.
Werner spurned a golden opportunity to double his, and Chelsea’s, advantage in the second half, sticking a shot on the rebound wide of the post after Mason Mount had a long-range strike saved by Lukasz Fabianski.
Jesse Lingard came close to equalising with a lobbed effort, but West Ham were reduced to 10 men when VAR was used to send off Fabian Balbuena who followed through on Chilwell after clearing a ball.
This handed a numerical advantage to Chelsea who saw out a win that moves them three points ahead of West Ham in fourth place, edging them closer to Champions League qualification.