Hazard scores two in thrilling Chelsea win

Sunderland 3 Chelsea 4

Two-goal Eden Hazard capped a mesmeric performance with a stunning strike as Chelsea came from behind to win at the Stadium of Light.

Hazard teed up the recalled Frank Lampard for Chelsea’s equaliser after Jozy Altidore’s opener.

And the Belgian playmaker then found the net with a long-range shot and a classy finish either side of John O’Shea’s strike to put the visitors 3-2 ahead.

Phil Bardsley scored at both ends in the latter stages of a pulsating match but the Blues held on to secure the points and stay in second place behind Arsenal.

They dominated for most of the first half but made hard work of killing off a spirited Black Cats side, who remain bottom of the table despite their recent improvement under new manager Gus Poyet.

The hosts had won three out of three games at home under the former Chelsea midfielder and led after 14 minutes when Altidore turned neatly in the box and fired the ball home from 12 yards.

But Lampard, who had gone close with an early long-range strike, levelled within three minutes when he headed in after fine work and a sweet cross by Hazard.

Fernando Torres then should have done better when well placed, but shot over the bar.

However, Chelsea’s outstanding player on the night Hazard made it 2-1 before the break when he cut in and crashed a wonderful strike past keeper Vito Mannone.

Hazard could also have added to the lead after another mazy run.

But the Blues failed to make full use of their first-half control and a fired-up Sunderland equalised five minutes into the second period when O’Shea smashed home a shot following a corner.

Torres then squandered another great chance when he blazed over the bar after more great work from the irrepressible Hazard.

The Spaniard’s miss did not prove costly as Hazard soon scored again, firing the ball home after a lovely one-two with Lampard.

A second fightback victory in four days seemed certain on 84 minutes when Bardsley diverted substitute Demba Ba’s cross into his own net from six yards.

And even though Bardsley set up a nervy finale with a close-range strike, Chelsea held on to remain four points behind the Gunners.

Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill; Lampard, Ramires; Mata (Mikel 81), Willian (Schurrle 90), Hazard; Torres (Ba 65).
Subs not used: Schwarzer, Cole, Essien, De Bruyne.



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