Diego Costa scored a last-gasp winner against West Ham United tonight at Stamford Bridge, to mark new head coach Antonio Conte's tenure in charge of the Blues with three vital league points.
Costa was a constant thorn in the side of the Hammers and took full advantage, with just three minutes left on the clock, of a knock down by late substitute Michy Batshuayi to ram home a low right footer, from just outside the penalty area to the delight of the 41, 521 fans inside the ground.
Chelsea had taken the lead through an Eden Hazard penalty on 47 minutes before being pegged back with a pile driver from centre back James Collins.
This was the new look Chelsea, ultra fit and raring to go, chasing down every loose ball. And with Conte kicking every ball, gesticulating like a demented orchestra conductor, the sidelines should be as entertaining as anything that happens on the pitch.
A spiky, high-tempo start to the game saw a flurry of tackles which, on three minutes saw Chelsea new boy N'Gola Kante booked for a foul on Andy Carroll.
The first effort on goal came on 12 minutes from the swinging left boot of Bransilav Ivanovic which forced West Ham goalkeeper Adrian into a smart diving save to his left.
the Chelsea move was a brilliant execution - clever interplay by Ivanovic and Oscar flummoxed the Hammers' rearguard. Thankfully, for them, the goalie was alert to foil the certain her-post goal.
Chelsea felt they had a stonewall penalty when Oscar hit the deck after being checked by Winston Reid. But Antony Taylor waved play on. A minute later and Diego Costa received a yellow card for dissent . James Collins then got a yellow for a simple foul on Costa, as the referee looked to be wanting to take centre stage.
A sensational run by Eden Hazard on 31 minutes almost brought just dividends as he cut through West Ham on the left and unleashed a powerful daisy-cutter, that inched past Adrian's left post.
For all of the home side's possession, the Ivanovic effort.
The visitors suffered a blow on 34 minutes when 320million Andre Ayew limped off with a muscle injury to be replaced by former Chelsea youth team player Gokham Tore.
Costa, frustrated at now getting on the end of a couple of excellent byline into the box crosses, decided on 38 minutes to take a long-range effort. The right-footer inched over the West Ham crossbar.
Deep into added time, Costa was fouled by Winston Reid. Up stepped Willian with a trademark, I swinging free-kill. The Brazil wide man was unfortunate to see his dipping effort, tipped over the crossbar by Adrian.
There were no changes at half-time.
Costa almost scored a minute into the restart but again Adrian was first to react. But the ball came out to Cesar Azpilicueta and as he raced I to the penalty area, he was bumbled over by Michail Antonio. Taylor rightly pointed to the penalty, spot and booked Taylor. Up stepped Hazard to blast home the spot kick. This time last season, Hazard hadn't scored a Premier League goal until April - 29 league games.
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic then hauled off Antonio, replacing him with Sam Byram. Antonio went straight down the tunnel - no handshakes with the bench.
William was next up, on 63 minutes to have an effort on goal, but his right-footer, from just inside the penalty area was well saved by the visitors busiest player Adrian.
John Terry should have scored from the resultant corner, but his unchallenged header went over the crossbar. Costa was fortunate to stay on the field, when on 67 minutes he could Adrian after the goalkeeper dithered over a poor back pass by James Collins. The striker cleared tripped the stopper up, but instead of producing a second yellow and mandatory red, referee Taylor simple gave a free kick.
Just before the Bilic made his second substitution, bringing on France star Di it right Payet for ineffectual Harved Nordtveit.
With 13 minutes left on the clock and from a Payet corner, the ball fell invitingly to Collins and the centre-back lashed home through a posse of players past the desperate and fruitless dive from Thibaut Courtois to level the scores.
Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte decided that he needed to change tactics no replaced Willian with Pedro.
With five minutes left, Conte made a double change, on came Michy Batshuayi for Oscar, Victor Moses for Hazard.
This changed the Chelsea formation to 4.4.2
There was almost instant dividends as a Moses cross was met by ape drop at the far post, but his right-footed volley flashed across goal, inches wide of goal.
A minute later and Chelsea retook the lead. A knock-on by Batshuayi to Costa, saw the Spain striker ram the ball home from just outside the penalty area, past the outstretched left arm of Adrian.
Next up for the Blues is a short trip to Vicarage Rod on Saturday to face Watford.
Chelsea- Courtois, Ivanovic, Kante, Oscar, Hazrd, Costa, Matic, Willin, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta
Subs: : Begovic, Aina, Fabregas, Loftus-Cheek, Moses, Pedro, Batshuayi.
West Hm United - Adrian, Reid, Nordtved, Kouyate, Carroll, Valencia, Noble, Collins, Ayew, Masuaku, Antonio
Subs- Randolph, Obiang, Tore, Ogbonna, Byram, Payet, Oxford