Chelsea’s vital victory over Southampton – in pictures

Diego Costa scored twice as Chelsea got the win they needed to move seven points clear of the top of the Premier League.

The 4-2 victory over Southampton took them a step closer to the title and put the pressure on second-placed Tottenham, who are away to Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening.

The occasional defensive lapse aside, it was a hugely impressive performance from Chelsea, who scored four times for the second successive match, having beaten Spurs 4-2 in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final.

Dream start

Antonio Conte’s side made the perfect start, opening the scoring after just five minutes. Costa drifted out to the right to collect Cesc Fabregas’ ball forward and then teed up Eden Hazard, who fired low into the far corner of the net.

Fab combination

Fabregas and Costa combined again to give Hazard a great opportunity to double the lead on 18 minutes, but this time he sliced his shot well wide after being set up by Costa’s sublime first-time touch into the Belgian’s path.

Saints level

In trying to head a corner clear, Cesar Azpilicueta succeeded only in flicking the ball towards Manolo Gabbiadini at the far post. After the Italian striker’s close-range shot from a tight angle was blocked by keeper Thibaut Courtois, Orio Romeu had the simple task of tucking away the rebound to score against his former club.

Cahill strikes again

But Chelsea hit back when N’Golo Kante lofted the ball into the box and Marcos Alonso headed towards Gary Cahill, who nodded home – the central defender’s seventh goal of the season.

Costa ends mini-drought

And when Fabregas combined with Hazard and found Costa, the Spain striker held off another former Chelsea man, Ryan Bertrand, to make it 3-1 – his first goal in eight matches and his 50th in the Premier League for Chelsea.

Icing on the cake

Costa started and finished a lovely one-touch move which culminated in his second goal of the night. He exchanged passes with Hazard and then Pedro before firing past keeper Fraser Forster. Brilliant.

Bertrand became the second former Chelsea player to score, when he got front of Cahill to head in Cedric Soares’ cross in injury time. But the Blues were resounding winners.

Terry’s hero’s reception

There was also an appearance by John Terry, who was given a hero’s reception by the home crowd when he was brought on as a late substitute. The Blues legend will leave at the end of the season – possibly with another Premier League winner’s medal.