A sumptuous hat trick from Belgian Eden Hazard and Arsenal’s defeat at the hands of Liverpool ensured Chelsea reach the top of the table. The Blues brushed aside Newcastle United side by 3-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday to pick up their 17th win of the season and in the process managed to reach the top of the table for the first time this campaign.
It was a convincing win for Jose Mourinho’s men as the Blues from London built on their stunning win at the Etihad against Manchester City thanks to Hazard’s three strikes at the back of the net. Can the Blues win the famed Premier League title in Jose’s second homecoming?
We shall all see but here are the Chelsea player ratings from the encounter.
Petr Cech: Yet another clean sheet for the Czech International, his 210th in the league which in itself is quite an achievement. Cech did superbly well to come out of his line and thwart Sissoko when the pair were one on one and also saved Luke De Jong’s effort late on and was immaculate when claiming crosses from either flanks. A great game in front of the packed Stamford Bridge.
Cesar Azpilicueta: Proved yet again how versatile he is playing at left back. I wouldn’t be wrong if I say he is a better left back than a right back and aside from Hazard he perhaps was Chelsea’s best player on the pitch. Very solid at the back, no nonsense defending and closed down oppositions very quickly and displayed immense work rate. Quite a tough nut to crack.
Gary Cahill: He is certainly one of the most underrated players in the Premier League currently. Very solid at the back, always focussed and hardly puts a foot wrong. Should be leading England’s defence in the World Cup, needless to say had a great game.
David Luiz: Like his defensive partner, Cahill was responsible in keeping the Newcastle attack under wraps. Did make some mistakes but throughout looked very composed and got his side a clean sheet.
Branislav Ivanovic: What a way to celebrate your 250th appearance for your club. The Serbian provided a lip smacking ball in for Hazard for Chelsea’s opening goal and like Azpilicueta possessed immense energy throughout, barging forward in the entire course of ninety minutes.
Nemanja Matic: Very agile, dominant and works like a tank in his central defensive midfield role. Just shows why Mourinho so much wanted him at Chelsea as the former Benfica man wins the balls so easily without committing himself and never puts a rash challenge in. Did a great job to screen his back four behind him.
Frank Lampard: Mourinho’s rotation policy is helping Lampard as the English international put in a routine shift in the middle of the park. Did nothing great mentionable except allowing Hazard to take the penalty late on to complete his hat trick.
Oscar: As usual the Brazilian was brilliant again in his customary number ten role playing forays in the final third and running in the pockets. Could have also got a goal for himself had he got his foot at the end of a great ball in when Tim Krul slipped.
Willian: Yet again Willian showed he has bursts of pace which can frighten any opposition, looked sublime when he went past opposition as if they weren’t there, was replaced late on by debutant Mohammed Salah.
Eden Hazard: First hat trick in English football and perhaps many more to come. Need I say more? The name is enough.
Samuel Eto’o: Brilliant flick, an amazing gorgeous one to set up Hazard’s second, the Cameroonian had a good game and it has to be said he looks sharp and more fitter than before.