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Summary

  1. Costa heads 50th Premier League goal and then fires in low
  2. Romeu and Bertrand score against former club
  3. Hazard buries from 15 yards, Cahill heads home
  4. Terry makes first league appearance since November

Live Reporting

By Emlyn Begley

All times stated are UK

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Goodnight

Thanks for joining us this evening. Chelsea are one step closer to the Premier League title.

Read Phil McNulty's match report here.

Tonight, of course, was just the warm-up act for tomorrow's triple match-day:

Arsenal v Leicester City - 19:45

Middlesbrough v Sunderland - 19:45

Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur - 20:00

Join us then.

Match facts

  • The Blues have now failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League games.
  • Three of the goals tonight came from corner situations, the joint-most of any Premier League game this season (also Man Utd v Leicester in September).

Match facts

  • Cesc Fabregas’ assist for Costa’s goal was his 103rd in the Premier League – second only to Ryan Giggs (162).
  • Gary Cahill has scored 26 Premier League goals – excluding penalties, the second most of any defender in the competition (after John Terry with 40).
  • Saints conceded four goals in a Premier League away game for the first time since 5 April 2014, when they lost 1-4 at eventual champions Manchester City.

Match facts

  • Diego Costa’s first strike was his 50th in the Premier League in his 85th game – the eight fastest player to reach the milestone in the competition.
  • Eden Hazard has scored 15 Premier League goals this season – his best return in a single campaign in the competition.
  • Since their return to the top-flight in 2012-13, Southampton have scored more away Premier League goals at Stamford Bridge than any other side (9).

'We must be confident for the future'

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte to Sky Sports: "It was a good win. Today I have to be pleased with the effort of my players. It wasn't easy after a tough game against Tottenham. Southampton have good players and play good football. 

"My choice was right for the game against Tottenham and the game today. It's not easy to make these strong choices. 

"To score at the end of the first half was very important. I was confident. I was seeing the team show a great will to win. In this part of the season, it's not easy. 

"We must be confident for the future. It's important to look at ourselves and not the other [Spurs]."

'A good game to watch on TV'

Southampton boss Claude Puel to BBC Sport: "It was a good game. We had a lot of opportunities but we conceded two goals on free-kicks. It's a shame. 

"We played against a good team. Eden Hazard and Diego Costa made the difference today. 

"I had the privilege to start Hazard at Lille. He has the same quality. He's a fantastic player. At 16, he was the same.

"It was a good game to watch on the TV. It's a harsh result. It's important to finish with good performances and stay in the first part of the table."

'Chelsea were clinical'

Chelsea 4-2 Southampton

Southampton

Southampton captain Steven Davis: "Chelsea were more clinical than us. We worked hard to get back into the game and the timing of the second goal was bad for us. Unfortunately it wasn't to be.

"They are top of the league for a reason. We want more than just getting 40 points. We don't want our season to fizzle out.

"They've got a real attacking threat."

Tottenham go to Crystal Palace tomorrow at 20:00 BST knowing they need to win to stay in the race really. 

Spurs have six games to go, realistically they need to win them all and hope for two or more Chelsea slip-ups.

The Blues just need to win four of their remaining five, even if Spurs win all theirs.

Premier League
.

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Akude Emeka: Two former Chelsea boys on the score sheet tonight, Lukaku will be looking up to Sunday big-time.  

'We've put pressure on Tottenham'

Eden Hazard
Reuters

Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard: "It'salways good to score and create lot of chances. We scored four beautiful goals.

"It's always good to play before [Tottenham] and put pressure on them."

On his best season for goals for Chelsea: "To be fair I want to take the trophy at the end of the season. If my goals help to win games then that's good."

'We are in a good position'

Chelsea goalscorer Gary Cahill on Sky Sports: "It does feel like a massive step. First time for a long time we've played first [before Tottenham in the league]. 

"Marcos Alonso popped a nice ball across and it's great for a defender. It was a great timing [the second goal] and a big boost before half-time. Most important thing is that we get the win."

On recovering from gastroenteritis: "I feel OK. I'm just recovering. The lads didn't miss me against Tottenham at Wembley. This result leaves us in a good position. We have a big game this weekend [at Everton]."

Gary Cahill
Reuters

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Jibin Mathew George: Bad day to take Costa off my FPL team.

Ouch

Football League update

Huddersfield in play-offs

Huddersfield have secured their place in the Championship play-offs, while Port Vale live to see another day in League One after a late Chris Eagles winner at Walsall. 

Chelsea 4-2 Southampton

Gary Lineker

Ex-England striker

Huge win for Chelsea in their inexorable march towards the Premier League title.  

FULL-TIME

Chelsea 4-2 Southampton

Chelsea go seven points clear at the top of the Premier League. For at least 24 hours anyway.

Chelsea celebrate
Reuters

Bertrand scores consolation goal

Southampton pull another back right at the end - both their goals have come from former Chelsea youngsters. Ryan Bertrand flicks home Cedric Soares' cross with his head. Not exactly textbook Bertrand.

GOAL - Chelsea 4-2 Southampton

Ryan Bertrand

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Andy Morgan: Excellent goal from Chelsea. Scoreline still flatters them, though. Saints have been better than scoreline suggests 

INJURY TIME

We're almost halfway through the four minutes added on.

SUBSTITUTION

Eden Hazard comes off, Willian is on.

Costa lashes home his second

Chelsea are running away with it now, and this is a great goal. Diego Costa passes to Pedro, who plays it back to the striker. Costa then dances past two or three Southampton defenders before smashing home.

That's his second of the game, after a seven-match drought.

Diego Costa
Reuters
Diego Costa
AFP

GOAL - Chelsea 4-1 Southampton

Diego Costa

This is surely too early for it to be John Terry's big farewell appearance, isn't it?

Another defeat for Adams' Granada

Granada 0-2 Malaga

Tony Adams
EPA

That's a third successive league defeat for Tony Adams since becoming manager of relegation-doomed Granada.

His side remain in 18th and seven points from safety in La Liga after losing 2-0 at home to Malaga - with Sandro netting twice.

They only have four games left.

SUBSTITUTION

Chelsea captain John Terry - who is leaving the club at the end of the season - comes on for his 714th Blues appearance. It is his first Premier League game since November.

Off comes Victor Moses. Needless to say, Terry has gone into the centre, not wing-back.

John Terry
Getty Images

Almost a fourth as Pedro shoots wide. And here comes John Terry...

John Terry
AFP

John Terry is coming on apparently! It really is party time for Chelsea.

SUBSTITUTION

James Ward-Prowse is replaced by Shane Long for Southampton. Is there enough time for the Irishman to score twice? (no)

Ten minutes to go and time is running out for Southampton. Steven Davis' shot is deflected wide.

Chelsea counter and they almost wrap it up, Eden Hazard plays it to N'Golo Kante and his shot is saved well by the greatest goalkeeper of all time Fraser Forster.

Chelsea in cruise control

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer at Stamford Bridge

Diego Costa's goal has drawn the sting from Southampton and Chelsea now look to be cruising to victory - if it stays like this all the pressure will switch to Spurs and their tough trip to Crystal Palace tomorrow night.

That one is as tough as they come given the recent results under Sam Allardyce.

SUBSTITUTION

Chelsea bring off Cesc Fabregas, who has been heavily involved tonight, and on in his place comes Spain - and former Barcelona - team-mate Pedro.

Cesc Fabregas
Reuters

Chelsea have the ball in the box for about 30 seconds, but they over-play it, Diego Costa especially instead of shooting, and it ends up in the hands of the people's champion, Fraser Forster.

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Fraser Forster is a man under fire...

Fraser Forster
Getty Images

Frustration. We just fold against the top sides even when they're playing poorly. Forster needs to remember that he is England's reserve keeper. He needs to start performing. What I wouldn't give for Caceres' experience at the back for games like this.

Gloucester Saint.

YELLOW CARD

Dusan Tadic thinks he should have a throw-in, but Lee Mason gives it the other way. Tadic is so furious he throws the ball into the ground... and gets booked. Total dumbo. 

Eden Hazard dances into the box but then Diego Costa shoots out of Hazard's possession straight at Fraser Forster.

We've had a couple more tweets backing up the claim Forster is the worst keeper in the league this season. And a couple of shout-outs for Claudio Bravo.

Eden Hazard
Getty Images

James Ward-Prowse's corner goes right along the six-yard box and past everyone, with Manolo Gabbiadini shooting into the side of the net.

Blues boss Antonio Conte looks furious on the touchline and kicks something.

SUBSTITUTION

Sofiane Boufal comes off and speed merchant Nathan Redmond replaces him for Southampton. 

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'The Fig': I hate to see why we keep playing Boufal, does tricks, runs with the ball, but then either runs ball out of play or loses it 

You're going to love that's about to happen then, Figgy

This game is in danger of petering out. The tempo has dropped out of it entirely. Presuming the Blues win, they would need to win four of their last five games to guarantee the title.

Diego Costa
Getty Images