London: Chelsea and Manchester City tightened their stranglehold on the Premier League title race on Saturday, recording victories over struggling clubs to stretch further clear of their increasingly forlorn pursuers.
Normal service was resumed at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea maintained their three-point lead over City at the top with goals from Eden Hazard and Diego Costa sinking Hull City, who had Tom Huddlestone sent off, 2-0.
Champions City maintained their ever more convincing chase, sealing their fifth successive league win at bottom club Leicester City 1-0 courtesy of a 40th-minute goal from the evergreen Frank Lampard.
City`s delight, though, was tempered by another injury setback with captain Vincent Kompany, back after being sidelined, limping off with hamstring trouble.
Fourth-placed West Ham`s progress was checked by a 1-1 draw at Sunderland and Southampton lost 1-0 to an Ashley Barnes goal at Burnley.
That left the chasing pack, headed by third-placed Manchester United and West Ham, 11 points behind Chelsea and eight adrift of the champions.
It also put pressure on Louis Van Gaal`s United before their match against Liverpool on Sunday.
Arsenal host Newcastle United in Saturday`s late kickoff.