London: Eden Hazard struck twice as Chelsea made it six wins from their last seven Premier League games with a routine 3-1 victory over Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge here, Saturday.
A sleepy start for the home side allowed the visitors to open the scoring. Some indecision in the Chelsea defence and a hint of handball saw the ball fall to the feet of Dwight Gayle on 11 minutes and he slotted home.
That blow woke the Blues up, and they drew a smart save from Karl Darlow through Hazard before Andreas Christensen’s header struck the post. Chelsea were level when Hazard’s shot from a tight angle found the net and they led 2-1 at the break when Alvaro Morata turned in Victor Moses’ cross.
Hazard’s first goal was his seventh of the season, an impressive figure considering he missed all of August with a broken ankle. In September, he was still playing himself back into full fitness with substitute and Cup appearances but he’s also up to six assists this season.
The balance of play continued in Chelsea’s favour after the break with Moses enjoying himself down the right flank and Hazard causing havoc all over the pitch. The game was put out of reach midway through the half when Moses was brought down in the area, with Hazard chipping over Darlow from the spot.
Hazard was the main threat throughout his time on the field and he equalled Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola with 80 goals through the spot-kick.
The Belgian had chances to get a hat-trick but he came off for Willian in the 78th minute to an extra-special standing ovation.