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Saturday 01 March 2014

Saturday review: Schurrle extends Chelsea's lead

German hits hat-trick against Fulham to send Chelsea four points clear of Liverpool who climb to second

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A 17-minute hat-trick from Andre Schurrle extended Chelsea’s lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League to four points with a 3-1 win over Fulham. Jose Mourinho’s team started the day a point clear of Arsenal and three ahead of Manchester City, but they took full advantage of the Gunners’ defeat at Stoke City and Manuel Pelligrini's side not being in action because of the Capital One Cup final on Sunday against Sunderland.

The forward notched his second hat-trick of the season, having achieved the feat for Germany against Sweden in October, and doubled his Chelsea tally to six league goals in 2013/14 following his second-half treble at Craven Cottage on Saturday. 

Fulham had the better chances in the opening period, but failed to take them and were made to pay as the visitors moved up through the gears after the break. Schurrle, ably assisted by Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres, finished all three efforts clinically as Chelsea extended their unbeaten run to 13 league matches, despite John Heitinga's late consolation. The defeat meant Fulham remain rooted to the bottom after an eighth league game without a win.

Stoke City continued their fine home record against Arsenal as a Jonathan Walters penalty earned the hosts a 1-0 win. Arsene Wenger's men have won just once in their last 10 trips to Stoke in all competitions and went home empty-handed thanks to a Walters penalty 14 minutes from time. 

Having bounced back from defeat to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League with an impressive 4-1 win over Sunderland last week, Wenger's charges struggled to recapture that form at the Britannia Stadium. After Peter Crouch missed a handful of opportunities, Walters ensured his side added to their home scalps of Chelsea and Manchester United, converting a penalty awarded for a handball by Laurent Koscielny. Mark Hughes' side are six points above the bottom three after recording their first Barclays Premier League win since 1 February.

Arsenal were overtaken in second place by Liverpool after their 3-0 victory away to Southampton. Luis Suarez gave Brendan Rodgers' team a first-half lead at St Mary's before Raheem Sterling doubled the lead with his first touch after coming on as a substitute. A Steven Gerrard penalty in stoppage time added gloss to their fourth win in a row that sent Liverpool above Arsenal on goal difference.

Romelu Lukaku marked his return from injury by earning Everton a late 1-0 win over West Ham United at Goodison Park. The Belgium striker’s 81st-minute goal proved the difference as West Ham's mini-revival came to end following a run of four wins and one draw in their previous five Barclays Premier League games prior to the trip to Merseyside. 

The hosts controlled the majority of the first half and went close through Steven Naismith and Gerard Deulofeu, but neither could find a way past Adrian in the West Ham goal. Steven Pienaar hit a post straight after the restart and Sam Allardyce's men looked set to clinch a point and their 14th clean sheet of the Barclays Premier League season before Lukaku struck nine minutes from time to send Everton back above Manchester United in the table.

Newcastle United’s 4-1 win away to Hull City was marred by the sending-off of manager Alan Pardew for an altercation with David Meyler.

The visitors produced a fine performance to secure their first league win over Hull since 1990. Moussa Sissoko converted from Mathieu Debuchy's cross to give Newcastle the lead, which was doubled by in-form striker Loic Remy in the closing stages of the first half. Hull pulled one back through Curtis Davies, only for Sissoko and Vurnon Anita to make sure of the points.

Saturday 1 March

Everton 1-0 West Ham United  | #EVEWHU  |  Matchday Live >>

Fulham 1-3 Chelsea  | #FULCHE  |  Matchday Live >>

Hull City 1-4 Newcastle United  | #HULNEW  |  Matchday Live >>

Stoke City 1-0 Arsenal  | #STKARS  |  Matchday Live >>

Southampton 0-3 Liverpool  | #SOULIV  |  Matchday Live >>

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