Relentless Chelsea stay top after brushing West Ham aside

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Chelsea continued their perfect start to the season at Upton Park, as a solid 3-1 victory against West Ham secured their place at the top of the table and condemned their opponents to a fourth successive defeat.

The reigning champions are convincingly priced at 11/10 to win a second successive Premier League crown, and having scored 17 goals in their first four games, Carlo Ancelotti’s side look in ominously good form.

Furthermore, with Manchester United (5/2 to win the league) throwing away a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 at Everton and Manchester City held at home to Blackburn, Chelsea will be delighted to have already established an early lead against their title rivals.

Michael Essien was the somewhat unexpected hero at Upton Park, scoring two goals with his head in either half to seal a comfortable win.

The Ghanaian midfielder’s first came inside the first two minutes of the match, before Salomon Kalou doubled Chelsea’s lead in bizarre circumstances, deflecting a Matthew Upson clearance over the despairing reach of Hammers goalkeeper Rob Green.

Essien’s second goal secured victory late on, and rendered Scott Parker’s delicious lobbed volley a mere consolation.

Pointless after four matches, West Ham remain rooted to the foot of the table and they are among the favourites to be relegated at 5/4.

Next up for Avram Grant’s winless men is a potentially significant trip to Stoke, who are also searching for their first victory of the season.

Who do you think will go down? Wigan are 10/11 to be relegated. See the full Barclays Premier League Betting Odds market.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.