LONDON (AFP) - Cesc Fabregas' goal earned Chelsea a 1-0 victory at Sunderland on Wednesday (Dec 14)- their 10th in succession - as Antonio Conte's side surged six points clear at the Premier League summit.
Fabregas, who came in for Nemanja Matic, curled in from Willian's 40th-minute cut-back to establish Chelsea's longest winning run within the same league campaign since 2005-06.
Chelsea, for whom Eden Hazard missed out due to a knock, have won all 10 league games they gave played since losing 3-0 at Arsenal on September 24, keeping eight clean sheets.
But it took a flying save from goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to prevent Patrick van Aanholt snatching a point for bottom club Sunderland at the death.
Conte's men are six points clear of Liverpool, who stole above Arsenal into second place courtesy of a 3-0 win at Middlesbrough in which Adam Lallana scored twice.
Having seen his side beaten 4-3 at Bournemouth and then held to a 2-2 draw by West Ham United, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp dropped goalkeeper Lorus Karius for Simon Mignolet.
His side went ahead in the 29th minute when Lallana headed in from England team-mate Nathaniel Clyne's right-wing cross.
Lallana teed up Divock Origi to add a second on the hour and eight minutes later the Belgian returned the favour as Lallana claimed his second goal.
Liverpool moved above Arsenal on goal difference, with Arsene Wenger's side having lost 2-1 at Everton on Tuesday in their first defeat in 15 matches.
West Ham pulled clear of the relegation zone after Mark Noble tucked away the rebound from his own penalty to secure a 1-0 home win over Burnley.