Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho played down the fantastic performance of Eden Hazard after his hat-trick helped the London side dismantle Newcastle 3-0, with the Blues boss insisting his quality is nothing new.
Mourinho was his usual affable self post-match as he joked with reporters, whilst also sticking to his guns about the Blues not being favourites for this season's title despite going top with the win.
"We are playing well. I don't think the first-half was the best example of that. We are top of the league, and that's something we can't hide," Mourinho told GiveMeSport.
Hazard was at the heart of everything good that Chelsea did going forward, and Mourinho admits he's pleased with the Belgian's 'evolution', but he's says the only difference between today and other efforts this season was the goal tally.
"I think his [Hazard's] performance today was not different from other performances that he's had. The only difference is that he scored a hat-trick for the first time," he continued.
"It's a very similar performance to the one he had against Hull and at City.
"In my opinion he is playing very well. It has been a big evolution for him. It's about consistency and condition. He's been fantastic."
Mourinho was not alone in his praise of Hazard, with Newcastle boss Alan Pardew explaining that his threat was almost unstoppable, especially with the defensive platform he works in front of.
Pardew added, "He has a great platform because it's a strong base behind him. With their back four and Matic, it gives him that stability to create the damage he did. I thought his second goal was real class, and he's at the top of his game."
Meanwhile, Chelsea skipper John Terry missed out on the match because of a slight muscle injury, with Mourinho expecting him back within a week.
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