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Hazard hat-trick piles misery on Magpies
Full-time: Chelsea 3 Newcastle 0
JOSE Mourinho had a good day but this was another defeat at the end of a frustrating week for Newcastle United.
After watching an Eden Hazard-inspired Blues cruise to a 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge, Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is nursing another defeat that now means his side have won just one of their last seven Premier League games.
Hazard's brilliance conjured up two goals in the first half and then he completed his hat-trick with a second half penalty to lift Chelsea to the top of the league.
Newcastle do not have such a healthy position, it is just fortunate they sit with a respectable 37 point tally at this stage after ten days to forget on Tyneside.
After a derby defeat to Sunderland, the departure of Joe Kinnear and the resignation of Under-21s coach Willie Donachie, Newcastle need to find a lift again.
And they must do so without Yohan Cabaye following his move to Paris St Germain and key midfielder Cheik Tiote, who will miss three weeks with a hamstring problem.
There are also fresh injury concerns over Mathieu Debuchy ahead of Wednesday's visit of Tottenham after he was forced off with an ankle injury this afternoon.
While Mourinho focused on ways of claiming the points that could take them ahead of Arsenal in the title race, Pardew tried something different in a bid to stop them.
Paul Dummett's inclusion at left-back meant the hole vacated by Tiote was filled by Davide Santon in the middle alongside Vurnon Anita. January recruit Luuk De Jong was also handed a full debut on his own up front.
This was always likely to be an afternoon trying to contain the Blues shirts, though, and for the first 20 minutes things seemed to be going reasonably well.
While there was plenty of clever movement and passing, Chelsea's early efforts were from outside the area and flew narrowly wide.
And Newcastle had a couple of efforts themselves, with Hatem Ben Arfa going closest with two shots rolled in to the arms of Petr Cech.
But then Chelsea opened the scoring in the 27th minute. When Branislav Ivanovic placed a pass just inside the Newcastle box, Hazard met it first time with a precise finish inside the far corner.
Newcastle could have levelled before the second but Cech denied Moussa Sissoko after a fine defence splitting pass from Santon sent the Frenchman clear.
And Chelsea immediately broke down the other end through Willian. When he picked out Hazard the danger signs were there, but the Belgian darted in to the box, played a clever one-two with Samuel Eto'o and then applied the cool finish.
That arrived 11 minutes before half-time and from that moment on Chelsea never looked surrendering their advantage. And after the restart Newcastle could not even get out of their half.
An almighty blunder from Krul almost cost a third. He totally misjudged a long clearance from David Luiz and the ball bounced over his head on the edge of his box. There was just too much pace on it for Hazard to catch.
But the Chelsea playmaker did not have to wait much longer for his third and it arrived in the 63rd minute.
Assistant referee Darren Cann called a penalty when substitute Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – who was introduced for the Debuchy – wrapped his arms around Eto'o at the back post when a corner was floated in. Hazard took the spot-kick in style.
Chelsea new-boy Mohamed Salah, signed from Basel last month, had a couple of late efforts to increase the lead, while Sylvain Marveaux wasted a glorious chance to pull one back in the dying moments.
But Newcastle had already been defeated.
CHELSEA (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Azpilicueta; Lampard, Matic; Hazard (Schurrle 86), Willian (Salah 76), Oscar; Eto'o (Ba 71). Subs: Schwarzer (gk), Cole, Ramires, Mikel.
NEWCASTLE UNITED (4-2-3-1): Krul; Debuchy (Yanga-Mbiwa 40), Williamson, Taylor, Dummett; Anita (Marveaux 86), Santon; Sissoko, Ben Arfa (Gosling 64), Sammy Ameobi; De Jong. Subs: Elliot (gk), Haidara, Armstrong, Shola Ameobi.