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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
February 8, 2014
• Stamford Bridge, London
Referee: H. Webb
• Attendance: 41387
E. Hazard 27', 34', 63'
It leaves the Premier League title race looking something like this, with Chelsea on 56 points, Arsenal on 55 and Manchester City on 54. Liverpool now find themselves just six points off the pace in fourth.
FULL-TIME: Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle. Eden Hazard's wonderful hat-trick - his first for the club - was the difference between the two sides as the Blues moved back to the top of the Premier League thanks to two delightful first-half finishes, coupled with a cheeky second-half penalty to boot as the "little horse", as Mourinho has referred to his side, sneaked above Manchester City and Arsenal to the summit for the first time since August.
90' + 1'
Ba is furious with Schurrle, who greedily chooses to shoot when a pass would have been the better option, skewing wildly over the crossbar after a mazy run.
Yellow Card Moussa Sissoko
Sylvain Marveaux, on as a substitute for the invisible Vurnon Anita, wastes a glorious chance for a consolation having been fed by Sissoko as he elects to go at the near post and fires disappointingly off target.
Salah has two chances within the space of a minute to open his Chelsea account but he fluffs his lines on both occasions. First, having been slipped in by Schurrle, he drags his shot well wide of the target before a tame finish straight at Krul from Oscar's pass.
Hazard is replaced to a standing ovation by each quarter of Stamford Bridge as Andre Schurrle takes to the field for the final throes of this game.
De Jong does do slightly better with his next attempt to grab a consolation goal, turning Cahill and getting off a low shot which Cech has to get down to and hold on to.
The latest Newcastle attack is fruitless as Chelsea's defensive unit of Luiz and Cahill stave off any threat from the increasingly isolated De Jong, as Cech collects with ease.
Manchester City are still drawing at Carrow Road so the "little horse" of Chelsea may soon become a dark one in the most open of title races in recent years.
Mohamed Salah comes on for Chelsea to make his Blues debut with the game beginning to lose its competitive edge just a touch, with both sides seemingly happy to leave the scoreline as it is.
Taylor concedes a corner under pressure from Willian as Chelsea go in search of a fourth goal.
Gary Cahill gets across well to prevent the lively Ameobi from bearing down on goal with a timely intervention.
Mourinho shuffles his pack, bringing on Demba Ba for Eto'o, who has fought hard but has been overshadowed by the brilliance of Hazard this afternoon.
Chelsea are strolling through the gears now and are closing in on top spot, with Manchester City continuing to toil at Carrow Road against Norwich City.
Davide Santon comes out the loser in a 50-50 challenge with the imposing figure of Matic and clutches his knee but the Italian will be fine to continue.
Willian and Eto'o combine on the edge of the area but cannot force a breakthrough as Newcastle clear their lines.
Hatem Ben Arfa
Penalty Goal Eden Hazard
GOAL! Hazard completes his hat-trick from the penalty spot with the most nonchalant of spot kicks past Krul after Yanga-Mbiwa, booked for his challenge on Hazard just moments before, needlessly hauls down Eto'o and is lucky not to be sent off, in truth. Either way, Hazard has made the game safe by completing a magical treble.
Yellow Card Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa
Hazard continues to prove a thorn in the side of this Newcastle defence and having embarked on a weaving run just moments earlier, his next slalom in an attacking area is brought to an abrupt halt by a reckless challenge from Yanga-Mbiwa.
Ivanovic's ball into the area is taken well by Eto'o but his touch allows Mike Williamson more time to come across and make a vital tackle to prevent a third goal.
Krul took a hefty blow from his landing when he came out to meet that ball over the top and has had his ankle strapped up as a result.
Almost a gift for the home side as a long, optimistic ball into the Newcastle area skids off the turf and over a stranded Krul, but Oscar is unable to react quickly enough and it rolls harmlessly out of play in the end.
It would be the first time since August that Chelsea sit atop the league if they win and Manchester City fail to get three points at Norwich City this afternoon, so it is some incentive for Mourinho's side to press home their advantage.
Ameobi barges down Ivanovic in a dangerous position but the free kick comes to nothing in the end from the right-hand-side of the area.
Yellow Card Sammy Ameobi
Eto'o puts pressure on Krul when the ball is laid back to the Dutch shot-stopper as Chelsea look to ram home the high intensity shown in the first half and go top of the Premier League.
Chelsea get us back underway for the second half here.
HALF-TIME: Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle. It has been the Eden Hazard show at Stamford Bridge with the Blues superstar running riot in the first half. He opened the scoring with a swept finish after a sumptuous turn before finishing off a devastating counter attack with an audacious finish.
45' + 1'
Newcastle could feasibly be level here but they have been so wasteful in the final third. Ameobi, Sammy that is, is the latest to prove profligate in front of goal, allowing Lampard to get back and challenge when he had a clear sight of goal.
Hazard is probing at the Newcastle defence once more and almost picks a lock when his left-foot drive from just outside the area flashes wide of Krul's near post.
Debuchy had been struggling with that knock to his ankle from earlier and it is believed to be the reason for him going off prematurely here.
De Jong forces a save out of Cech but he ought to have done better with his header from close range moments after Willian had blazed over at the other end. Alan Pardew makes a chance as Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa replaces Debuchy.
Chelsea stroking the ball around with confidence and have been lethal so far today thanks to their Belgian superstar. Can he complete his hat-trick before the break?
Newcastle are stunned, having done precious little wrong and De Jong looks to get his side straight back on the front foot but Chelsea are coasting now.
Assist Samuel Eto'o
Goal Eden Hazard
GOAL! Hazard makes it two with a wonderful solo goal to double Chelsea's advantage and the Belgian is single-handedly destroying the Newcastle backline. The Blues break from a corner with Willian feeding Hazard, who cuts inside, exchanges passes with Eto'o and strokes into the corner.
Hazard chases a long ball with Dummett but the young defender does well to shepherd the ball out of play as the Belgian looked to cash in on any defensive uncertainty.
Sissoko has started brightly and looks to test Cech again from range, but cannot find the target.
Matic wins a free kick after hurtling his way through a series of challenges. Lampard delivers the set piece and it falls to Hazard, but his finish on this occasion is not quite as sweet, firing wide of the far post.
Assist Branislav Ivanovic
Goal Eden Hazard
GOAL! Chelsea have the lead and it's their star man who has it as Eden Hazard slots home the opener. His spin in midfield completely fools Davide Santon before passing wide to Branislav Ivanovic. The Belgian collects the return and sweeps it home on the run to put the home side in control.
Nemanja Matic plays a neat one-two with Eto'o and finds the Oscar with a reverse pass but the Brazilian drags his shot somewhat, despite Krul finding himself out of position.
Eto'o almost steals in after good work by Lampard but Newcastle stand firm and almost catch Chelsea out on the counter through Sammy Ameobi's surge downfield but it all ultimately fizzles out to nothing.
Youngster Paul Dummett concedes a corner which leads to a half chance for the hosts, with Oscar's cross flicked on by Ivanovic but Krul claims amongst the crowd.
Chelsea just finding their feet at present, with Willian the latest to try and fashion an opportunity for his side but the visitors are repelling everything thrown at them.
The two teams trade chances with Chelsea going close thanks to some wonderful invention from Hazard, stopping dead and cutting back to Eto'o but the Cameroonian is unable to truly test Krul before Sissoko sears away at the other end through midfield but his low strike is well wide.
Cesar Azpilicueta is slightly sloppy in his defensive work as he allows Ben Arfa inside onto his left foot and he accepts the invitation to shoot but sees his effort saved by Cech.
Debuchy takes a tumble and stays down after appearing to land on his ankle but is fine to carry on after receiving treatment.
Willian does excellently to keep the ball from going out of play for a goal kick but is flagged offside, having run onto Lampard's long ball.
Lampard is teed up by Eto'o on the edge of the area and unleashes a low piledriver, but Krul is equal to it, getting down low to hold onto the ball.
Hatem Ben Arfa does superbly to speed his way past Hazard and check back inside. The Belgian leaves a trailing leg but the Frenchman admirably stays on his feet and fires in a low effort which Cech has to get down to.
Chelsea come forward this time, looking to force an early opener, but Lampard is denied by resilient defending before a short corner is eventually claimed by Krul.
Frank Lampard strikes a free kick from range which sails wide, after Steven Taylor had charged into Samuel Eto'o, before Newcastle show more ambition going forward when Mathieu Debuchy almost escapes down the right from a De Jong pass.
Newcastle are straight on the attack through De Jong but the danger is snuffed out before Eden Hazard forces Tim Krul into a low save as the game starts at a frenetic pace.
Newcastle kick us off and we are underway here.
Chelsea were outstanding in their 1-0 win at Manchester City on Monday. Their performance at the Etihad Stadium, where City have become accustomed to thrashing their opposition, must rank as the best by any side anywhere in the Premier League this season, the only negative being that they didn't inflict the damage on City's goal difference that they ought to have done given their superiority.
Mourinho's comments about his side being 'a little horse' in a title race led by more powerful animals in Arsenal and Manchester City suggest the Portuguese is exercising his latest bout of mind games, fooling no-one by claiming his side cannot win the title.
Prior to kick-off, Petr Cech is receiving an award from Peter Bonetti to mark the current Blues stopper's record-breaking clean sheet achievement after he secured his 209th recently.
There's no debut for Mohamed Salah for Chelsea this afternoon as Jose Mourinho makes two changes to his side. Ramires and John Terry are the players to drop out as Frank Lampard and Oscar return to the first-team fold.
I'm Tom Marshall-Bailey, and I will be keeping you up to date with all of the proceedings from London, as Mourinho's men head into battle against a Newcastle side who are said to be missing key midfielder Yohan Cabaye rather severely, following the Frenchman's sale to mega-rich PSG. It's tough to see how Newcastle can orchestrate a victory against the hosts this afternoon, but with the likes of Loic Remy and Hatem Ben Arfa, they could produce some moments of brilliance.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Newcastle United's tough away trip to Stamford Bridge, to face Premier League title contenders in the form of Jose Mourinho's Chelsea. The Portuguese steered his side to an important away win against Manchester City last time out, and the Blues need to keep up their momentum if they are to remain in the trophy hunt in the coming months.
Chelsea starting line-up: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Azpilicueta; Matic, Lampard; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Eto'o.
Newcastle starting line-up: Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Taylor, Dummett; Anita, Santon; Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Sammy Ameobi; De Jong.
Chelsea substitutes: Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Schurrle, Salah, Ba, Schwarzer.
Newcastle substitutes: Yanga-Mbiwa, Gosling, Haidara, Elliot, Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Armstrong.
TEAM NEWS: Luuk de Jong gets a start for his new club, with Sammy Ameobi retaining his place on the left hand side after his derby day performance. Paul Dummett slots in at left-back in place of David Santon, who is seemingly moved into midfield, with Tiote sidelined through injury. It's hard to see how Alan Pardew's men are going to come away with a win this afternoon.
TEAM NEWS: Frank Lampard comes into the starting line-up for the home side, with Nemanja Matic retaining his place in midfield, leaving Ramires to drop to the bench. David Luiz slots in at centre-half in place of John Terry, but Chelsea have certainly put a strong side out this afternoon. Samuel Eto'o remains up front, with the dangerous trio of Hazard, Oscar and Willian in behind.
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