Captain John Terry scored twice as Chelsea leapfrogged London rivals Arsenal to go third in the Barclays Premier League with a 3-0 derby victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage.
David Luiz powered a 35-yard shot into the top corner after 30 minutes and returning skipper Terry headed in a second before half-time to put Chelsea on course for a first Premier League away win in five attempts.
Fulham felt aggrieved when Bryan Ruiz was adjudged to have dived over Terry's leg in the penalty area and the visitors' skipper headed in his second as Chelsea climbed a point above Arsenal and three clear of Tottenham. Rafael Benitez's side are now in pole position for the third automatic Champions League qualifying place with six games remaining.
Frank Lampard made his 600th Chelsea appearance in a side showing four changes following Sunday's FA Cup semi-final loss to Manchester City. Sascha Riether's cross in behind Terry and Luiz gave the hosts an opportunity for a fast start, but Ruiz could only divert the ball over from close range.
Lampard's first chance to score for the first time in a month came in the ninth minute after Brede Hangeland sliced an attempted clearance. Fernando Torres had the presence of mind to head the ball behind him and Lampard hooked the ball towards goal, but Mark Schwarzer saved comfortably.
After Branislav Ivanovic was booked for a two-footed foul on Mladen Petric, Dimitar Berbatov had a shot deflected wide, Giorgios Karagounis fired narrowly over and John Arne Riise fluffed a chance.
The visitors then took the lead against the run of play when Luiz found himself in space and unleashed an unstoppable long-range strike which soared into the top corner.
Fulham had further opportunities, with Berbatov and Urby Emanuelson at the heart of much of their good work. The Bulgarian could not quite get on the end of Emanuelson's pass before the Dutchman danced round the Chelsea defence and his deflected shot was turned around the post by Petr Cech.
Another long-range Chelsea shot then had Fulham in trouble. Schwarzer could only parry Lampard's swerving free-kick and from the resulting corner, Chelsea played the set-piece short and Juan Mata crossed to the back post where Terry headed in. Terry was relieved to see referee Mike Dean book Ruiz for diving when going by the Blues defender in the box.
Fulham resumed with purpose, but their luck deserted them when Philippe Senderos saw his header blocked at the back post by team-mate Petric. Moments later, after Schwarzer had turned a Victor Moses shot around the post, Chelsea had their third. Mata's corner was met by Torres, whose powerful header was helped in by Terry.