Hazard hat-trick takes Chelsea top

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Chelsea 4 Cardiff 1

Eden Hazard’s hat-trick saw Chelsea fight back to earn a fifth consecutive Premier League victory and go top of the table.

Hazard drilled in a brilliant low strike after a slick one-two with Olivier Giroud to level after Sol Bamba had prodded Cardiff ahead.

The Belgian made it 2-1 at the break when he side-footed home after more good work by Giroud.

Hazard stroked home his third from the penalty spot in the second period after substitute Willian was felled.

And Willian completed the scoring when he curled in the fourth late on.

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The only blemish on an impressive display was an injury to Matteo Kovacic, who limped off five minutes after the interval with what appeared to be a calf problem.

The margin of victory could have been greater with Giroud, Hazard, Kovacic and Pedro all missing decent chances as Chelsea dominated possession and opportunities.

Aside from Hazard, Spaniard Pedro provided the main threat sending two efforts narrowly wide, dinking one clever strike just over and sending a glorious chance high over the bar from close range.

Cardiff had offered little in attack but were a threat from set-pieces and Bamba headed wide before opening the scoring from close range when the Blues failed to clear a free-kick.

But Chelsea refused to panic and Hazard, Jorginho and Kovacic seized control of the midfield bringing the platform for a deserved win against the winless Bluebirds.

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger, Alonso; Jorginho, Kante; Kovacic [Barkley 50], Pedro [Willian 68], Hazard [Zappacosta 84]; Giroud.
Subs not used: Caballero, Christensen, Drinkwater, Morata.