Hull City 2-3 Chelsea
Loic Remy came to Chelsea’s rescue - but a dreadful howler from Hull keeper Alex McGregor was a gift of all three points to the Blues.
Remy hadn’t been on the pitch two minutes when he fired through the legs of the keeper. But at the end of the pitch, Thibaut Courtois made amends for another mess in the first half when he fired against the charging Abel Hernández, who gratefully gobbled up the chance to turn the game on its head.
Chelsea were ahead 2-0 after nine minutes only to get pegged back inside two minutes.
Branislav Ivanovic was second best when Andrew Robertson skated past him on the left. The cross was perfect for Ahmed Elmohamady to slide in and score for the Hull first goal.
But Courtois was the hero in the second period when he made a hat-trick of great saves. Elmohamady, Jake Livermore and Gastón Ramírez were all denied to shift the game Blues way.
Very early on, latecomers missed Eden Hazard fire Blues into a two-minute lead with a terrific drive from outside the box
Hernández was through a couple of minutes later as Hull sprung the offside trap with ease, but not for the first time this season Courtois was out quick to block.
You don’t give Chelsea let-offs like that. Diego Costa made them pay when he fired home on the angle for his 19th of the season as he bent it around the keeper and in off the upright.
Tigers tails were up and flying when they demolished the lead in a heartbeat.
But in a season when Courtois has rarely put a foot wrong, he tried to punt clear with Hernández bearing down on him. The pass back from Gary Cahill was always dangerous; the Blues custodian made sure danger turned to disaster when the Hull man picked up the loose ball and whacked it into the net.
Diego Costa’s header from the centre of the box was blocked, and one of the few chances in a scrapping second period. Remy was in the right place when it mattered, and it put Blues six points clear of Manchester City in second.
Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Filipe Luis, Fabregas, Matic, Ramires (Oscar 61), Willian (Zouma 80), Hazard, Diego Costa (Remy 75); subs not used: Cech, Azpilicueta, Loftus-Cheek, Cuadrado