Antonio Conte has admitted revelling in Chelsea soaking up all the Premier League title-race pressure and delivering a crucial 3-1 victory at Bournemouth.
Diego Costa's shot was deflected in via Adam Smith in the 17th minute, before Eden Hazard doubled Chelsea's lead with a classy finish three minutes later.
Benik Afobe volleyed against the post for Bournemouth before Josh King reduced the arrears in the 42nd minute with an effort that fizzed past Thibaut Courtois via a deflection off David Luiz.
Until they were up 3-1 after Marcos Alonso's guided missile of a free kick, Bournemouth made life hard, but the leaders stayed seven points clear of surging Tottenham Hotspur. Their only win at home came in their first game against them in September 1988.
Adam Smith's freakish own goal floored Bournemouth from the off, though Joshua King did fire his 13th league goal of the season, albeit via a deflection.
Spurs are now on good form having won their last five matches and they will need to take advantage of any Chelsea slip ups should they wish to retain hope of a title win. Marcos Alonso stepped up and curled it expertly into the top corner in the 68th minute.
And Hazard declared that Chelsea had moved one step closer to the title following their win at Bournemouth.
As a result, often the only available option would be for Azpilicueta to return the ball back to Zouma, who would either go long or play back to the goalkeeper.
Hazard and co. will be motivated to show up against their old boss, and Eden will personally aim to net a few more goals before the season is done.
Costa won a free kick 25 yards out and Alonso did the rest.
The midfielder shot into the top corner from the edge of the area from Dusan Tadic's lay-off in the 25th minute at The Hawthorns.
After the two goals he scored against Manchester City, Hazard, at least, continues to rise to the challenge of the run-in.
Left wing-back Alonso made it 3-1 for Chelsea with a attractive freekick in the 68th minute of the game.
"When you have this type of opponent (Tottenham) who is in good form and wants to catch you, it is important to have a good answer". Subs: Ibe 5, Mousset 5, Gradel 5.
Chelsea added their third of the game 11 minutes later.
Tottenham had trimmed Chelsea's advantage to four points by crushing Watford 4-0 earlier in the day, but Chelsea's victory left them seven points clear with seven games of the season remaining.