Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard was again the standout player as he orchestrated a comfortable 2-0 victory over Newcastle United in their Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge.
The Belgium international opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 22nd minute before laying on the second goal for Fernando Torres in first-half stoppage time.
The victory meant that the Blues maintained their perfect start to the new season and return to the top of the fledgling league table.
The opening 15 minutes were uneventful, but the home side created the first real chance three minutes later. Torres controlled a cross-field pass from Raul Meireles before rolling a pass to Ryan Bertrand, whose effort was not strong enough to test Tim Krul in the Newcastle goal.
The European champions were ahead soon after, when Vurnon Anita, who was making his first Barclays Premier League start for Newcastle, brought down Torres just inside the area.
With regular penalty-taker Frank Lampard on the bench, Hazard stepped up and directed a low penalty past Krul.
Hazard could have grabbed his second of the game on 35 minutes but he blazed over from the edge of the area as the hosts started to dominate possession.
The visitors went close to equalising a minute before half-time when full-back Danny Simpson challenged David Luiz as he tried to carry the ball out of the box. The loose ball broke for Papiss Cisse, but his snap-shot was straight at Petr Cech, who held the ball well.
There was still time before the interval for Chelsea to double their lead as Hazard back-heeled the ball perfectly into the path of Torres, who finished coolly into the top corner.
Newcastle came out in the second half looking for an early goal to get themselves back into the game. First Hatem Ben Arfa wriggled free before shooting wide before Jonas Gutierrez followed suit moments later. Demba Ba then forced Cech into a smart save with his legs after breaking free inside the Chelsea penalty area.
Newcastle substitute Ryan Taylor who almost orchestrated the third goal of the game.
His deep free-kick was met by the head of Cisse but the Senegal striker could not keep his effort down and it comfortably cleared Cech’s crossbar.
With Newcastle pushing forward Chelsea were able to launch several counter-attacks and Bertrand almost scored a third with 10 minutes to go but his drilled effort was deflected past Krul’s far post for a corner.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew introduced Sylvain Marveaux for the final 15 minutes and his injection of pace added to Newcastle’s potency in attack. Marveaux’s 84th-minute cross found Ba who, after mis-kicking his first effort, forced a low save out of Cech from eight yards.
|15 Sep 2012||v QPR (A)|
|22 Sep 2012||v Stoke (H)|
|29 Sep 2012||v Arsenal (A)|
|06 Oct 2012||v Norwich (H)|
|20 Oct 2012||v Tottenham (A)|
|28 Oct 2012||v Man Utd (H)|