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Chelsea conjure up hazardous display

BLUES BROTHERS: Eden Hazard celebrates with Fernando Torres (right)

THE YOUNG Chelsea fans in the stands who have Hazard embossed on their backs left Stamford Bridge happy after their team's 2-0 win against Newcastle.

The Belgian winger was instrumental, helping the London club put in a performance that was simply too strong for the visitors.

In contrast to last season's fixture where the northeast team shocked the Blues with a 2-0 win, Chelsea's defence kept Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba quiet. Yet it was their new-look attack that caught the eye.

Eden Hazard looks to have found the pace of the Premier League only after three appearances. He also seems to have rejuvenated Fernando Torres, who scored a classy second goal after a cute reverse flick from Chelsea's £32 million man.

There must be a 21-year-old Nigerian rubbing his hands after seeing that display from his seat. Victor Moses, the European champion's latest recruit was unveiled to the Chelsea faithful before kick-off along with new Spanish right back Cesar Azpilicueta.

Moses and Chelsea's other offensive players will have their work cut out getting into this team, especially since Torres is looking more and more like the striker which persuaded Roman Abramovich to spend £50 million.

It was two minutes into first half added time that the 28-year-old Spanish forward curled the ball into the top corner with the outside of his right boot, leaving Tim Krul flailing at thin air. And 25 minutes earlier Torres proved elusive in the Newcastle box, winning a penalty that Alan Pardew said he made a "big meal of".

The spot kick enabled Hazard to get Chelsea's first and his very first for his new team. Choruses of "Eden" resounded throughout the ground.

There was not much for the Geordie fans to sing about. Their team saw little of the ball in the first half, only Hatem Ben Arfa carried any menace.

Newcastle came out for the second 45 with more urgency, using the left flank to good effect. Yet the crosses from David Santon and Danny Simpson, on the other side, more than often missed their targets. Cahill and David Luiz almost made it look like Cisse was not there.

The battle was won, as it normally is, in the centre of the park. Chelsea's John Obi Mikel came to the fore, showing maturity in possession and a quick mind. Near the hour mark, the tall Nigerian cleverly turned, evading two players in his own half, and ate up the turf to almost thread the ball to the waiting Hazard.

Before the match southwest London was engulfed by lightning, thunder and downpours. The rain came back for most of the second half, creating a slick surface for Hazard, Mata and Torres to strut their stuff. Ryan Bertrand got in the act too, displaying a promising understanding with them. The young Englishman came close to scoring himself, striking a fierce drive that stung the keeper's fingertips.

Senegalese striker Ba had Newcastle's best chance to score, but after doing the hard work in the box, he could only manage a tame shot which Petr Cech collected low to his right.

As the minutes counted down, Pardew's team bore the appearance of defeated men. And Chelsea made sure of it by keeping the ball.

"We see his qualities in training, he's a wonderful player", said Di Matteo of Hazard after the final whistle. Newcastle's boss did not disagree: "Hazard's got that nonchalance about him. He's added something extra to Chelsea."

Something which the rest of the Premier League may already know.

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