Imperious Hazards sends Chelsea to the top

Eden Hazard in action

Eden Hazard in action

By Limbikani Msamba

Eden Hazard produced a virtuoso solo display as his hat-trick inspired Chelsea to a 3-0 win over Newcastle, to send them to the  top of the Barclays Premier League table.

The Belgian winger was in tantalising form as Newcastle simply had no answers to his pace, dribbling and ruthless finishing, as  Chelsea completed a fine week  with another three points after their  win over title rivals Manchester City  on Monday night.

Hazard put Chelsea on course with two fine first-half strikes before completing his treble from  the penalty spot in the second half,  condemning Newcastle to a second  3-0 defeat in a week.

Hazard had the first  chance of the game after just two minutes when he beat Vurnon Anita  and fired in a low shot which Tim  Krul comfortably collected.

Newcastle showed they were not  willing to sit back and defend and  Hatem Ben Arfa fashioned an  opening for himself on nine  minutes, but his right-footed effort  was saved by Petr Cech.

Chelsea  took the lead when Hazard found  Branislav Ivanovic out wide on the  right and he crossed for the Belgian to curl home a delightful shot.

Newcastle wasted a great opportunity to draw level on 33 minutes when Moussa Sissoko broke  the Chelsea offside trap to latch  onto Davide Santon’s pass, but the  midfielder’s first touch let him down  and Cech was quickly off his line to  block.

The visitors were made to pay for  that miss as seconds later as Hazard expertly finished off a devastating Chelsea counter-attack involving him, Samuel Eto’o and Willian.

Luuk de Jong had a chance to pull a  goal back for Newcastle on 39  minutes when Sissoko picked him  out with a fine cross, but the on- loan striker’s header failed to trouble Cech.

Chelsea continued to boss proceedings  and Mike Williamson made a vital  block to deny Eto’o from inside the box before Lampard saw his free- kick from an acute angle tipped over  the crossbar.

From the resulting corner, Chelsea won a penalty when substitute  Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa needlessly  brought down Eto’o and Hazard  made no mistake to complete his hat-trick.