Willian scored twice as Chelsea claimed a record-equalling 13th consecutive Premier League victory by beating Stoke City 4-2 on Saturday to provisionally move nine points clear at the summit.
Stoke twice hit back to level after falling behind at Stamford Bridge, but Willian’s second goal and a late Diego Costa strike saw Chelsea match Arsenal’s run of 13 wins within the same season from 2001-02.
Chelsea welcomed back N’Golo Kante and Costa from suspension for the visit of Stoke and took a 33rd-minute lead when Gary Cahill headed in a corner from Cesc Fabregas.
Bruno Martins Indi equalised within seconds of kick-off in the second half, slotting in after Peter Crouch nodded down Charlie Adam’s free-kick.
After Willian had restored the hosts’ lead, lashing in from Eden Hazard’s lay-off, Crouch drew Stoke level again in the 64th minute when he tapped in Mame Biram Diouf’s cross.
But Willian put Chelsea back in front a minute later and Costa’s late strike sealed victory.