Having lost a crucial encounter 3-0 to fellow strugglers Sheffield United on Saturday, West Ham came tearing out of the blocks against Chelsea at Upton Park.

Tough concession

But Chelsea have not won nine straight league matches and put together a 20-match unbeaten run by folding easily and having weathered the early pressure they took the lead in the 31st minute when Wright-Phillips took possession on the edge of the area and brilliantly wrong-footed  Jonathan Spector before driving a low left-foot shot past Robert Green.

The home side responded immediately however when Carlos Tevez, the Argentinian forward who has run and toiled more than many of his teammates this season, brilliantly equalised by thumping the ball past the helpless Petr Cech from the edge of the area.

It was the first goal Chelsea have conceded in nine league games but the joy was shortlived as Wright-Phillips bagged his second just two minutes later, smartly turning in a Wayne Bridge cross and breaking home spirits.

Liverpool will be in next year's Champions
League even if they don't win this years [AFP]
West Ham flagged in the second half after Zamora missed a sitter in the 47th minute. They were made to pay seven minutes later when a Dider Drogba header was blocked by Green and the rebound tucked home by Salomon Kalou.

Drogba then notched goal number 31 of a prolific season in the 62nd minute to ensure their duel with United on three fronts will go down to the wire.

No sting

Watford however, are one team that looked to have duelled their last this season.

First-half strikes from Christopher Samba, Jason Roberts and Benni McCarthy means the hornets could officially be a Championship side again this weekend if results do not go their way.

Elsewhere Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard both goals in front of England manager Steve McClaren as Liverpool  returned to the Premiership's top three with a 2-0 win over  Middlesbrough at Anfield.

The Liverpool captain netted his 10th and 11th of the season to rescue the Champions League semi-finalists following a lacklustre  performance.