Hazard’s Hattrick Powers Chelsea To Top Spot

eden hazardEden Hazard scored a hat-trick to send Chelsea to the top of the Premier League with victory against Newcastle.

Hazard, magnificent in Monday’s 1-0 win at Manchester City, was in inspired form throughout and drove in the opener from Branislav Ivanovic’s pass.

Newcastle’s Moussa Sissoko was denied one-on-one by Petr Cech, before Hazard finished off a fine sweeping move.

Hazard got his third in the second half, scoring from the penalty spot after Samuel Eto’o was fouled.

With league leaders Arsenal losing 5-1 to Liverpool and Manchester City drawing at Norwich, Chelsea’s win moved them one point clear at the top of the standings.

Boss Jose Mourinho had claimed earlier in the week that Chelsea were “the little horse” in the title race, but their win at City on Monday, coupled with this clinical dismantling of Newcastle, underlined their credentials as genuine contenders as they extended their unbeaten run to 10 matches.

Chelsea’s recent fortunes were in stark contrast to those of Newcastle. They had won only one of their previous six games, had just lost to local rivals Sunderland, and were evidently struggling to compensate for the loss of playmaker Yohan Cabaye, who joined Paris St-Germain at the end of January.

With the points safe, Mourinho opted to give new signing Mohamed Salah his first appearance in a Chelsea shirt and the Egypt winger almost grabbed a fourth late on, but shot straight at Krul after being sent clear by Oscar. – BBC

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