Hazard hat-trick hands Chelsea PL top spot

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Chelsea stormed their way to the top of the Premier League this afternoon with a dominant performance allowing them to cruise to a 3-0 victory over Newcastle United.
Arsenal led the league heading into the game as they were two points clear of Chelsea and Manchester City.
But their 5-1 hammering at the hands of Liverpool in the lunch-time kick-off meant the Blues could go top if they won and City didn't.

The hosts did exactly that thanks to an awesome hat-trick by Eden Hazard, as City were also held to a draw at Norwich.

John Terry missed out for Chelsea, as he was rested with one eye on the busy league and cup schedule coming up for the Blues.

When the game started Newcastle were on the front foot, with a simple long ball up-field almost troubling Chelsea, but Luuk De Jong's first touch let him down as Petr Cech forced the corner.

It didn't take the Blues' Hazard too long to get involved, his low left shoot early on was comfortably saved by Krul, but it acted as the first of many chances for the irrepressible Belgian.

The Blues started to dominate the game from the 15-minute mark onwards, with Frank Lampard going close twice with a free-kick and a low shot from 25-yards.

A stoppage in the game then gave Jose Mourinho the chance to vent his frustrations towards his players.

And even though Moussa Sissoko's poor touch prevented a glaring opportunity for Newcastle moments later, it seemed Mourinho's words of wisdom resonated with his players, as the hosts fired in two quality Hazard goals before the break.

The pressure told in the 27th minute when the wing forward grabbed his first. Branislav Ivanovic's in-field short pass opened up the space, before Hazard rifled home the ball from outside the box as he left Krul stranded.

Chelsea' lead and the Belgian's goal tally was doubled just before half-time in a spectacular move. First Hazard came on the counter and combined with Samuel Eto'o in an incredible one-two inside the box, which included a sublime back-heel by Eto'o for Hazard to then calmly finish.

A bizarre piece of play almost gave Chelsea a third goal after the break. Krul came out of his goal to pick up a basic long ball up-field by the Blues, but the Toon Army keeper slipped and was only saved by the pace of the ball, which rolled out of play before Oscar could pounce.

Krul seemed to pick an injury up on the fall, with his left ankle troubling him before he received on-field medical help.

The Newcastle fans remained in excellent voice despite their woes, which almost continued when Lampard's curling free-kick forced a wonderful save from Krul.

The visitors blushes weren't saved for long though, when the referee Howard Webb gave Chelsea a penalty after he adjudged Eto'o to have been brought down by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa .

Hazard subsequently slotted home the penalty and rounded of his hat-trick as he confused Krul with his eyes, before another calm finish.

To their credit the visitors didn't give up, and a classy move in the final third gave Sammy Ameobi a great chance, but his left foot shot from close range had too much height as it sailed over the bar.

Mohammed Salah then came on the field for the hosts in the 78th minute to a rapturous ovation as he made his Stamford Bridge debut.

Hazard also departed to a standing ovation, before Salah was denied a debut goal by Krul. Sylvain Marveaux then missed a sitter late on to complete a bad day at the office for Newcastle.

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