London: Eden Hazard scored a hat-trick as Chelsea capitalised on Arsenal's crushing defeat at Liverpool by beating Newcastle United 3-0 to claim top spot in the Premier League on Saturday. Arsenal's 5-1 demolition at Anfield earlier in the day handed their nearest rivals an opportunity to leapfrog them at the top of the table and Chelsea took full advantage at Stamford Bridge. Manchester City were unable to follow suit, however, drawing 0-0 at Norwich City and slipping to third place in the process.
Chelsea had served notice of their title credentials with an impressive 1-0 win at City on Monday and they were quick to take control against Newcastle despite captain John Terry missing out with a muscular strain. Hazard broke the deadlock in the 27th minute with a first-time finish from a Branislav Ivanovic pass and the Belgian added a second seven minutes later following a neat back-heel by Samuel Eto'o.
A foul on Eto'o by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa presented Hazard with an opportunity to complete his first Chelsea hat-trick from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute and he duly obliged by sending Tim Krul the wrong way.