Latest: Chelsea 3 Newcastle 0

Eden Hazard’s hat-trick means Chelsea are in total control at Stamford Bridge, where a win could take them to the top of the table.

Hazard struck on 27 minutes, turning nicely and finding Branislav Ivanovic before meeting the right-back’s low cross with a first-time shot into the bottom corner of the net.

He doubled the lead in brilliant fashion on the counter-attack seven minutes later, finishing coolly after a one-two with Samuel Eto’o.

And he netted again midway through the second half with a penalty after Eto’o had been fouled by Vurnon Anita.

Chelsea have been largely dominant but keeper Petr Cech was also called into action following Hazard’s opener, saving at the feet of Moussa Sissoko after the midfielder had been put through by Davide Santon.

It proved to be a crucial save because Hazard made it 2-0 a minute later.

Worse almost followed for the Magpies early in the second half.

Krul slipped over as he came to collect David Luiz’s long punt forward but, fortunately for the Dutchman, the ball drifted wide and Oscar was unable to reach it for what would have been a simple tap-in.

However, Krul was soon picking the ball out of the net again after Anita needlessly wrestled Eto’o to the floor at the far post following Frank Lampard’s scuffed corner.

Hazard nonchalantly tucked away the resulting spot-kick – his 12th league goal of the season.

With leaders Arsenal having been thrashed 5-1 at Liverpool earlier in the day, three points would put Chelsea top if second-placed Manchester City fail to win at Norwich, where the match was goalless after 70 minutes.

Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Azpilicueta; Matic, Lampard; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Eto’o (Ba 71).
Subs: Cole, Mikel, Ramires, Schurrle, Salah.


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