Chelsea Cruise Past Saints To Close In On Title

Cahill's goal came after his former Chelsea team-mate Oriol Romeu had levelled proceedings, and the England global acknowledged his header came at the ideal time.

Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard were substitutes in last Saturday's FA Cup semi-final win over Spurs, largely because of the proximity of this fixture.

Conte, whose side had been beaten twice in their past four league games, said: "We passed a big step - a big psychological step - after the defeat against Manchester United". It wasn't easy to play after a tough game against Tottenham, " Conte said.

"It was a good win". “But for me I always said that Im very pleased for his commitment, for his work for the team, because hes always working for the team.”.

"We must be thinking that this race is still open". There could also be an FA Cup to collect if Arsenal can be overcome in the final. "We are ready to fight until the end". To become a great or fantastic season there is only one way: "to try to win". This result leaves us in a good position.

Southampton threatened an upset, but Gary Cahill's goal just before the break put the league leaders back in front.

Hazard came off the bench to devastating effect at Wembley at the weekend, scoring the Blues' crucial third goal before teeing up Nemanja Matic's late thunderbolt. "The goals are their life", he told a post-match news conference, having also seen Costa lay on the fifth-minute opener for Eden Hazard. I was pleased for his performance. He always worked for the team. Now he must continue.

Chelsea are now four points clear of Spurs, but Hazard's comments about the Blues' London rival's showed slightly more respect this time around. His confidence is very important for us. Our answer was very good.

The Saints were able to pull back another consolation goal in the fourth minute of second-half added time as Ryan Bertrand's glossed header flew past the keeper and into the bottom corner.

"In this moment I wanted to kick the ball, and I took the bag as a ball", he explained.

When the quote was put to Conte, however, the Italian suggested that he would rather lose games if it meant Hazard stopped pulling his weight for the wider effort.

"On top of this I want to thank John but he knows my organisation of the team".