Samuel Eto’o netted a hat-trick as Chelsea kept up the pressure on Arsenal and Manchester City with a fine 3-1 win over Premier League champions Manchester United.
The Cameroon international gave the hosts the lead on seventeen minutes with a deflected shot from outside of the area before doubling his side’s advantage on the stroke of half time with a neat finish.
Eto’o then poked in from close range after Gary Cahill’s header was saved by David De Gea, to complete his treble on forty-nine minutes and give Jose Mourinho’s man an unassailable lead.
Javier Hernandez pulled on back for United twelve minutes from time, before their captain Nemanja Vidic was shown a straight red card in added on time for a foul on Eden Hazard.
Rafael could have also been dismissed for the visitors late on, but escaped with just a booking after a poor challenge on Cahill.
Chelsea are now on forty-nine points, one behind second place Manchester City and a further point behind leaders Arsenal.
They will now turn their attention to Sunday’s FA Cup fourth round tie with Stoke City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon, before returning to league action with a home match against West Ham United on Wednesday week.