London: Eden Hazard's hat-trick gave Chelsea a 3-0 win over Newcastle United on Saturday as they returned to the top of the Premier League for the first time since September. Having previously won 1-0 at title rivals Manchester City on Monday, Chelsea are arguably the form team in the top flight at the moment and in Hazard they have the stand-out player. He struck with two fine finishes in the first half and completed his first treble in Chelsea colours from the penalty spot mid-way through the second period.
Jose Mourinho's side jumped above Arsenal and City, both of whom dropped points, as the west Londoners signalled their intent to end a four-year wait for the biggest prize in English football. Chelsea, who were missing the injured John Terry, might have started at a slow tempo, but the warning signs were there from the off that this would be a routine afternoon at Stamford Bridge.
In the early stages, Hazard ran out of space and failed to get a strong connection with a shot that Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul easily gathered. Frank Lampard suffered a similar fate from 20 yards out and Oscar narrowly failed to find the target, but the hosts were gathering momentum that was proving difficult to contain.