Chelsea's top-four hopes were boosted by Timo Werner's goal, but his disappointing season was summed up when he missed a glorious opportunity to double his side's lead.
FT. Job done! 3 points! Well done, Blues! 💙 pic.twitter.com/DAQPZKvGSO— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 24, 2021
Werner delivered when it mattered most, firing Thomas Tuchel's side ahead against the Hammers - and then squandering a golden opportunity to double his side's lead as the battle for Champions League qualification heats up.
Prior to the London Stadium match, the German striker had only scored once in 22 Premier League appearances, but he ended it in style to give Chelsea a massive boost in their top-four hopes.
Chelsea and West Ham were tied on 55 points going into Sunday's match as the race to qualify for Europe's elite club competition entered the final six games of the season.
3—Leicester (59 points)— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 24, 2021
4—Chelsea (58 points)
5—West Ham (55 points)
6—Liverpool (54 points)
7—Tottenham (53 points)
8—Everton (52 points)
Chelsea move clear in fourth 💪 pic.twitter.com/JuYitLs6Hp
David Moyes' side has done a fantastic job of putting themselves in contention for the title this season, and they put in a disciplined display against their London rivals.
But, just as the first half seemed to be heading for a goalless draw, Werner broke the deadlock with a goal from a Ben Chilwell cross, his movement having played a key role in the build-up.
However, early in the second half, the 25-year-disappointing old's season was typified when he had a chance to double his side's lead - and shot wide with the goal gaping.
Midway through the second half, Werner did it again, sneaking in behind the Hammers' defense and carving out an opening before shooting straight at keeper Lukasz Fabianski.
Fabian Balbuena was controversially sent off for a challenge on Chilwell after a VAR check, ending the Hammers' hopes of a late return.
With five games remaining, Chelsea is three points ahead in fourth place, and Tuchel becomes the first manager in club history to go unbeaten in his first ten competitive away games.
Liverpool dropped four points behind Chelsea with five games remaining.