Chelsea kicked off the action in the lunchtime match with a London derby against Sam Allardyce's in-form West Ham. The Hammers have been punching above their weight recently and had muscled their way into the top four, with the returning (from long term injury) Andy Carroll and re-invigorated Stewart Downing well to the fore. Jose Mourinho's men were in no need to hand out any festive fun though for their neighbours, as they put in a controlled performance with a 2-0 victory. Their heroes on the day were John Terry with a tap in after Diego Costa’s set up for the first goal and then a confident finish by Costa himself for the decisive second. The Hammers battled to the end, but found the solid Blues’ defence in determined mood with Terry and Gary Cahill once more maintaining a clean sheet.
West Ham had several chances of their own to score, with Saido Berahino guilty of wasting two good openings and Lescott heading over from close range, before they got a consolation goal from Brown Ideye. Joe Hart fluffed a punched clearance on to Ideye's head and the ball crept over the line.
Chelsea remain three points clear of City at the top as the two teams seem to be establishing a gap on the rest, with Manchester United still third after a convincing 3-1 home win over Newcastle United which included two goals plus an assist for England captain Wayne Rooney, as the Red Devils continue their resurgence. Southampton moved back above West Ham into the top four, winning 3-1 away at Crystal Palace, as Ronald Koeman’s men seem to be settling back into their stride after a recent spell of poor results that included defeat in the Capital One Cup.