Hull 0 Chelsea 2
Eden Hazard’s sumptuous second-half strike and a late Fernando Torres goal sent Chelsea to the top of the Premier League table.
The Belgian broke the deadlock with a superb low shot after beating two men to liven up a largely lifeless contest.
And Torres sealed the win after a much-improved second half with a fine solo goal.
A lacklustre first half saw Chelsea rarely threaten the home goal until goalkeeper Allan McGregor made a stunning save to deny Oscar 12 minutes before the break
Until then the visitors, who had John Terry back at centre-half and restored David Luiz to midfield, had edged possession.
But Hull created as many chances, with Terry culpable of creating the best one with a misplaced pass that ended with Yannick Sagbo shooting well wide.
Torres had a shot deflected into the side netting and Hazard made a couple of dangerous runs.
McGregor also flapped at a Willian free-kick while Petr Cech’s only notable save saw him push away a long-range Jake Livermore strike.
The half threatened to boil over in the final stages when Livermore dived in on Luiz, who almost scored with a dipping strike from the resulting free-kick.
But the Blues started with far greater purpose after the break.
A mazy run by Hazard saw him crowded out after beating three men and another decent Luiz free-kick forced McGregor into an awkward save.
And the pressure and ambition was rewarded in spectacular style when Hazard broke the deadlock on 56 minutes.
A superb move on the left involving Luiz and Ashley Cole freed up space for Hazard, who smashed in his ninth league goal of the season after cutting in and dummying two defenders.
Chelsea looked to add to their lead and avoid a nervy finale.
Oscar had a shot deflected over the bar after great work by Willian.
And just when it looked like they would have to settle for a comfortable 1-0 success, Torres ran 40 yards and netted with a well-struck near post effort.
With Arsenal not playing until Monday and Manchester City not in action until Sunday afternoon, the Blues are now a point clear.
Arsenal face Aston Villa away and City travel to Newcastle.
Subs not used: Schwarzer, Bertrand, Mata, Eto’o.