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Eden Hazard Brace Inspires Chelsea to Win over Newcastle in Premier League

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02: Eden Hazard of Chelsea celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-1 during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on December 2, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images)
James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Eden Hazard netted twice to inspire Chelsea to a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday.

The visitors took a surprise lead at Stamford Bridge after Dwight Gayle capitalised on some poor defending on 12 minutes. Hazard ensured the champions weren't behind for long, though, and Alvaro Morata put the Blues ahead after 33 minutes.

Chelsea bossed the second period, and Hazard made the match safe from the penalty spot with an audacious chip.

Three points for Chelsea sees them consolidate third position and move level on points with Manchester United, who will play Arsenal in the day's late match.

Newcastle arrived at the Bridge low on confidence, having taken just one point from their last five games. They started the better of the two teams here, though.

Gayle struck to give Newcastle a shock lead.
Gayle struck to give Newcastle a shock lead.Clive Rose/Getty Images

The visitors got a goal for their efforts, with a sizeable helping hand from Chelsea. The Blues failed to deal with a long ball forward, Marcos Alonso and Thibaut Courtois didn't react to the danger, and Gayle was there to tuck the ball home from close range.

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As noted by Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe, it was not the most eye-catching of goals:

Sam Tighe @stighefootball

That goal belongs in the Championship 😂

Chelsea kept their composure despite that setback and gradually started to establish a foothold in the game. They came within inches of levelling when Andreas Christensen guided a header from the edge of the area onto the post.

The Blues were finding space out wide, and their equaliser came after some good work on the flank. The Newcastle defence almost cut out Cesar Azpilicueta's cross, but Hazard was in a position to pick up the loose ball, hammering his shot into the ground and past Karl Darlow.

For Hazard, it was a continuation of his brilliant recent form and his excellent record against the Magpies, per OptaJose:

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

7 - Eden Hazard has been directly involved in seven goals in his eight Premier League appearances against Newcastle (five goals, two assists). Schemer. https://t.co/1rdo4tGvot

Chelsea were rolling at this point, and Newcastle couldn't find a valve to release the pressure. Down the right flank, the Blues were making frequent inroads, and it was from that area again where they pushed in front. 

Morata celebrates putting Chelsea ahead.
Morata celebrates putting Chelsea ahead.James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Victor Moses dug out a flashing cross near the byline, and as he does so frequently, Morata was on hand to thud a header beyond the goalkeeper.

As noted by journalist Priya Ramesh, the Spaniard gets a regular supply line from the right:

It was enough for the home team to ensure they were in front at half-time, and as the whistle blew, the Blues were the dominant side.

That was the case for much of the second period, as Chelsea kept Newcastle at arm's length without creating many chances. In the end, they had to wait until the 74th minute for their next clear sight of goal.

Hazard made the game safe from the spot.
Hazard made the game safe from the spot.Clive Rose/Getty Images

It came from the penalty spot, as Matt Ritchie felled Moses in the area. Hazard stepped up and impudently dinked the penalty down the middle to make the game safe for the Blues. 

Per Nizaar Kinsella of Goal, the strike put Hazard level with a Chelsea legend on overall goals for the club:

Nizaar Kinsella @NizaarKinsella

Hazard now has 80 goals for Chelsea. So does Gianfranco Zola #CHENEW #CFC

The Belgian should have had a third not long after, but Darlow stood tall to keep Hazard out when he was through on goal. The Chelsea No. 10 was substituted not long after.

With a flurry of changes made, the final stages of the match were a low-key affair, as Chelsea's desire to net again lessened. While they did fall behind here in uncharacteristically sloppy style, this was a contest in which they rarely lost control and were deserved victors.  

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