Hazard helps Blues down Toon
Hazard opened the scoring from the spot in the 22nd minute
before laying on the second goal for Torres in first-half stoppage
Chelsea were without injured skipper John Terry and left
vice-captain Frank Lampard on the bench, but still had enough
quality and experience to dominate the opening 45 minutes before an
improved Newcastle performance in the second half.
The victory saw the Blues maintain their perfect start to the
new season and return to the top of the fledgling league table.
The opening 15 minutes were uneventful, with John Obi Mikel
firing high and wide and Hazard shooting straight at Newcastle
goalkeeper Tim Krul.
But the home side created the first real chance three minutes
Torres controlled a cross-field pass from Raul Meireles before
rolling a ball just inside the box to Ryan Bertrand, whose effort
was not strong enough to test Krul.
The European champions were ahead soon after, though, when
Vurnon Anita – making his first Premier League start for Newcastle
– brought down Torres just inside the area.
With regular penalty-taker Lampard on the bench, Hazard – who
earned spot-kicks for his side in each of their first two games
this season – stepped up and directed a low penalty past Krul.
Branislav Ivanovic nearly doubled Chelsea’s lead just after the
half-hour mark when he out-jumped Davide Santon to meet Ashley
Cole’s deep cross but his header was too close to Krul, who managed
to keep the Serbia captain’s effort out.
Hazard could have grabbed his second of the game five minutes
later but he blazed over from the edge of the area as the hosts
started to dominate possession.
Torres was then showed a yellow card by referee Phil Dowd for
diving after knocking the ball around Fabricio Coloccini with the
whole of the Chelsea bench up in arms as it appeared the Newcastle
captain caught Torres with his trailing leg.
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 –
although hit with venom – was straight at Petr Cech, who held the
There was still time before the interval for Chelsea to double
their lead as the impressive Hazard back-heeled the ball perfectly
into the path of Torres, who finished coolly into the top
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.
With the visitors starting to get a foothold in the game,
Roberto Di Matteo introduced Ramires off the bench in place of Juan
Mata to add more guile to the Chelsea midfield.
But it was 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
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.
Magpies boss Alan Pardew introduced Sylvain Marveaux for the
final 15 minutes and his injection of pace added to Newcastle’s
potency in attack.
His 84th-minute cross found its way to Ba who, after mis-kicking
his first effort, forced a low save out of Cech from eight
With 90 minutes on the clock Luiz required treatment following a
clash of heads with Ba as the two contested another Marveaux
Despite requiring a bandage after suffering a nasty cut, the
Brazilian defender was untroubled for the five minutes of
additional time as Chelsea saw out the remainder of the game