CHELSEA has stretched its lead at the top of the English Premier League back out to seven points after a 4-2 defeat of Southampton at Stamford Bridge.
Diego Costa scored twice, his first goal his 50th in the EPL, with skipper Gary Cahill and Eden Hazard scoring the others.
Southampton had threatened to spoil the party with Oriel Romeu forcing home from close range to equalise Hazard's fifth-minute goal.
Cahill restored the lead right on half-time, however, and the Blues dominated after the break with Costa's first goal stretching the lead before making it four, finishing off a sublime passing move with a first-time finish.
Chelsea old boy Ryan Bertrand scored a second for the Saints deep in injury time but that was just consolation.
The Blues are now favourites to take the EPL title and the FA Cup double following their 4-2 semi-final defeat of Spurs.
"We had a really important psychological test and our answer was good," manager Antonio Conte said.
"We have reached the final of the FA Cup but the other competition is totally open. But we fight until the end."
Spurs had the chance to close the gap to four again on Thursday morning (EST) with a trip to Crystal Palace.
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