Eden Hazard produced a one-man master class as Newcastle chased shadows at Stamford Bridge this afternoon.

The Belgian winger scored all of Chelsea’s three goals and the outclassed Magpies were unable to muster any kind of response.

In fairness to the visitors, today was more about the performance than the result and they didn’t disgrace themselves but couldn’t do anything about Hazard’s show-stealing display.

Alan Pardew was forced to reshuffle his side as injuries and suspensions hindered his choices. Luuk de Jong made his first start since joining on loan from Borussia Monchengladbach and Sammy Ameobi continued on the left wing.

Paul Dummett made his first start since this season’s first Derby Day defeat at left-back, as Davide Santon occupied an unfamiliar defensive midfield role.

Ironically, the man Santon replaced in the position – Cheick Tiote – may have been Newcastle’s best hope of stopping Hazard, although it would have been difficult on this performance.

The former Lille man was causing problems from the off, warming Tim Krul’s hands with a weak low shot after just two minutes. It was a sign of things to come for Newcastle.

They responded well though, making Petr Cech in the Chelsea goal work when Moussa Sissoko and Hatem Ben Arfa struck efforts from outside the box.

But Newcastle lacked the finishing ability of the suspended Loic Remy and soon all the action was at Krul’s goalmouth.
Hazard’s second effort of the afternoon almost found the corner as Krul was beaten but the Dutch goalkeeper’s sheet remained clean as it trickled just wide.

But Hazard was not to be stopped for long. The breakthrough came when Branislav Ivanovic – one of the stars of Chelsea’s win over Manchester City on Monday night – got forward down the right and cut back for Hazard, who curled his shot into the far corner.

Newcastle could have been forgiven for folding after going one down on the back of a tough week, but again they responded well. Captain for the day Sissoko caught the eye in midfield, using his physical capabilities to charge through but failing to create anything clear cut.

The former Toulouse man was central to Newcastle’s biggest chance of the match, though, as he broke through the home defence and found himself one on one with Cech. However, the midfielder’s touch was heavy and Cech spread himself well to smother and then set up a killer counter attack.

Cech’s throw out was instantly played down the left, where Hazard ran dangerously at the Newcastle back four. Mathieu Debuchy made no attempt to stop him cutting inside onto his right foot, before three Newcastle defenders were left open-mouthed when the Belgian fed Samuel Eto’o, who magnificently back-heeled through for Hazard to finish.

It was a goal worthy of a team who could easily win the league, despite Jose Mourinho dubbing his side “a small horse who needs feeding”.

From the moment the second goal went in, Newcastle never looked like getting back in it and full debutant De Jong fluffed a header from Sissoko’s cross before half-time.

Early in the second half Newcastle almost self-destructed when Krul came out of his area to collect a simple hoof from David Luiz, only to slip and watch on as Oscar failed to catch the loose ball.

Frank Lampard also went close as Chelsea pushed for a third but Krul tipped over, only to be let down when Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa pulled Eto’o down from the resulting corner.

Hazard stepped up from 12 yards and in his current form he was never going to miss. Krul stayed stranded as the 23-year-old rolled the spot kick into the corner.

Newcastle’s day – and week – was summed up late on when substitute Sylvain Marveaux was played in on goal by Sissoko and made a mess of a simple finish to ensure Cech kept his second clean sheet in a week.