Football: Hazard brace gives Chelsea vital 2-1 win over Man City

Chelsea's Eden Hazard (C) celebrates with his teammates after scoring.
Chelsea's Eden Hazard (C) celebrates with his teammates after scoring.PHOTO: EPA

LONDON (REUTERS) - Chelsea recovered from their shock weekend blip with Eden Hazard's double securing a nervy 2-1 victory over Manchester City that maintained a seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

Their defeat by Crystal Palace on Saturday reignited the title race but Chelsea responded with a gritty display to keep second-placed Tottenham Hotspur - 3-1 winners at Swansea City - safely at arm's length with eight games left.

Hazard's deflected strike gave the hosts a 10th-minute lead although City keeper Willy Caballero should have saved his effort.

Sergio Aguero levelled with a tap-in after 26 minutes following a poor clearance by keeper Thibaut Courtois but Hazard restored Chelsea's lead against the run of play in the 35th with a rebound after his weak penalty was saved by Caballero.

City skipper Vincent Kompany, starting a league match for the first time since November, grazed the top of Chelsea's crossbar early in the second half.

Antonio Conte's Londoners had to dig deep late on and had one enormous let-off in stoppage time when John Stones fired over the bar with the goal gaping.

The victory gave Chelsea 72 points to Tottenham's 65.