Full-time: Chelsea 3-1 Newcastle United

  • Rafael Benitez's first return to Stamford Bridge since his tumultuous seven-month stint as Chelsea interim manager ends with yet another away defeat
  • Dwight Gayle gives the visitors a shock 12th-minute lead after an error from Marcos Alonso
  • However, the brilliant Eden Hazard equalises shortly afterwards with a volley into the ground that deceives Karl Darlow
  • Alvaro Morata heads home Victor Moses' cross from close range
  • Hazard notches his second from the spot after the interval, confidently netting a Panenka penalty after Victor Moses is brought down by Matt Ritchie
  • Third-place Chelsea collect their 10th league win of the season and move level on points with Manchester United before Jose Mourinho's side meet Arsenal in the teatime kick-off
  • Newcastle have failed to win any of their last six matches
Eden Hazard

That is all for this particular blog, but stick with IBTimes UK for live coverage of a six-strong slate of 15.00 GMT kick-offs that includes Brighton vs Liverpool and Watford vs Tottenham.

We will also be bringing you that heavyweight clash between Arsenal and Manchester United this evening.


A comfortable afternoon in the end for Chelsea, who move level on points with second-place Manchester United before Jose Mourinho's side face Arsenal later on today.

Hazard's 79th and 80th goals for Chelsea means he has now drawn level with the great Gianfranco Zola on the club's list of all-time top scorers.

It was a predictably unhappy return to Stamford Bridge for Benitez, who must find a way to cure Newcastle's away-day blues.



Chelsea 3-1 Newcastle


Kante concedes possession with an uncharacteristic moment of carelessness and Shelvey is unable to punish him, drilling a long-range shot into the stands.


Beaten Newcastle force a late corner that is headed over the top by Clark. Three minutes of stoppage time have been indicated by the fourth official.


Merino makes way for Yedlin and Ritchie, who gave away the penalty earlier in this second half, has to move fast to stop Drinkwater from applying the finishing touch to Kante's lofted pass forward.


Chelsea are looking to add further gloss to the scoreline late on, with both full-backs attempting to get in on the act. Moses has a shot blocked by Clark after Alonso's initial effort is saved.

Newcastle then launch a rare counter-attack, although Murphy cannot make much of it.


Chelsea's final change sees Cahill replace Christensen.


Hazard's latest strike is blocked by Lejeune.

There will be no treble today as the former PFA Player of the Year is replaced by Willian and receives a standing ovation as he walks towards the touchline.

Conte also withdraws Fabregas in favour of Tiemoue Bakayoko.


Shelvey is caught in possession, Morata slips in Hazard and Darlow denies the brilliant Belgian his hat-trick.


Benitez moves to replace Diame with Shelvey. Too little, too late.


It's a measure of Hazard's supreme confidence as he embarrasses Darlow with a cheeky Panenka. Game, set and match Chelsea.

It is Antonin Panenka 69th birthday today, by the way...

Eden Hazard


Goal: Chelsea 3-1 Newcastle (Eden Hazard)


Fabregas slides a pass into the right channel, where a sprinting Moses is taken down by Ritchie.

No arguments from the Newcastle winger as Friend points to the spot. Hazard to take...


Penalty to Chelsea


Newcastle are unable to get any service whatsoever up towards Gayle. Changes are needed, and fast.


Hazard gets beyond Mbemba after a inventive return pass from Drinkwater. However, the ball spins away from him at the crucial moment and Darlow is relieved to see it go behind for a goal kick.


Moses' header from an Azpilicueta cross is saved by Darlow. The Newcastle 'keeper is also equal to another shot from Hazard, who again winds his way through the Newcastle backline.


Another incisive Chelsea passing move breaks down when Drinkwater's early ball for Hazard is overhit.

The hosts still well on top here, but won't feel comfortable until they get that decisive third goal.


Perez angles a driven shot across the six-yard box and wide before seeing his number held up by the fourth official. He makes way for Hayden.


Perez blocks from Moses. The excellent Hazard then weaves his way past Mbemba and Lejeune and into the six-yard box but cannot find the finish that would surely put this game beyond Newcastle.

He feels he was nudged by Clark. No penalty.

Eden Hazard


Chelsea earn another corner before Hazard's 20-yard strike is deflected wide by Clark with Darlow wrong-footed.


Chelsea apply more pressure straight from the restart, with Moses supplying a dangerous cross after a surging run from Christensen and Hazard also peppering the six-yard box.

Morata lurking with menace.


Chelsea get us back off and running in west London. No changes from either Conte or Benitez just yet.