Nicolas Anelka continued his hot streak of form by scoring twice in Chelseaâ€™s 3-0 win over West Brom this evening, a result that sends the West London side to the top of the Barclay's Premier League table.
The Frenchmanâ€™s double came after a shot from Jose Bosingwa had beaten Scott Carson at his near post. It was an 11-minute goal blitz that ended the game as a contest.
With Petr Cech the latest player to pull out of his squad with an injury, Luiz Felipe Scolari handed Carlo Cudicini his second Premier League appearance of the season. Anelka continued up front in place of Didier Drogba, who could be banned for his coin throwing antics in midweek pending an investigation by the FA.
West Brom - backed by their vociferous support - acquitted themselves well in the first half an hour, putting Chelsea under pressure and having a number of efforts on goal.
James Morrison had the first effort in the first minute. Ishmael Miller - who had an interesting battle with John Terry for most of the game - then fired wide after being played in by Borja Balero.
Chelsea then began to establish their bearings and Scott Carson had to be alert to keep out efforts from Florent Malouda and Frank Lampard.
Bosingwa then fired Chelsea ahead with a superb effort from outside the box, which Carson only managed to tip onto the bar before it went in.
The goal stunned the Baggies, and Anelka was to make matters worse for them four minutes later. The Frenchman ran onto Maloudaâ€™s header and dinked the ball over Carson for his 12th goal of the season.
He then added his 13th in first half stoppage time, latching onto Kalouâ€™s neat pass and beating Carson at his near post to put the game to bed.
Chelsea emerged for the second half knowing that the result was beyond doubt, and they wasted a number of opportunities to extend their lead.
Deco and Anelka had efforts repelled by West Brom. Drogba and Michael Ballack were then sent on for Chelsea, and Drogba had a shot blocked for a corner.
West Brom pushed for a goal, but substitute Teixeira blasted over and Do-Heon Kim volleyed wide.
The only blemish on Chelseaâ€™s afternoon came when John Terry was forced off with a foot injury, something which will no doubt concern England manager Fabio Capello.
The league leaders then played out the remaining time and secured their 10th successive away win, a Premier League record.