By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
At Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 3 (Hazard 27, 34, 63pen)
Newcastle United 0
Eden Hazard's hat-trick condemned Newcastle United to a 3-0 Barclays Premier League defeat away at Chelsea.
The Belgian playmaker struck a quickfire double before half-time, and then rounded off an outstanding afternoon with a second-half penalty to take home the matchball and earn his side three deserved points.
Hazard first swept home Branislav Ivanovic's cross, before - seven minutes later - putting the finishing touch on an outstanding team goal which was set-up by an audacious Samuel Eto'o back-heel.
But Chelsea dominated for large spells and Hazard completed the scoring midway through the second period from the spot after referee Howard Webb penalised substitute Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa for wrestling Samuel Eto'o at a corner.
It was a disappointing afternoon for Alan Pardew's side, who will be looking to bounce straight back as Tottenham come to Tyneside on Wednesday night.
Both teams made a bright start and there were chances at either end in the opening exchanges
Hazard and Frank Lampard both threatened from distance for Chelsea, while Moussa Sissoko and Ben Arfa attempted to beat Blues keeper Petr Cech at the other end.
In the 25th minute, Oscar threatened for the Blues, firing a couple of yards the wrong side of the upright from the edge of the area, and less than two minutes later the home side finally made the breakthrough.
Hazard picked up the ball in the middle of the park before finding Branislav Ivanovic wide on the right. And, having continued his run into the box, when he was picked out by the full-back, Hazard duly swept the ball home past Krul.
Newcastle created a great chance to get back on terms just past the half hour mark. Davide Santon, playing in a holding midfield role, raced past a couple of challenges before threading a pass for Sissoko to beat the offside trap.
The French midfielder, wearing the captain's armband, was in on goal but Cech was quick off his line to divert the ball behind for a corner.
And United were made to pay immediately as the outstanding Hazard netted his second goal of the afternoon.
As Chelsea broke at pace from the corner, Willian played in Hazard down the left. The goalscorer found the feet of Eto'o inside the box, who returned it with a glorious backheel, which Hazard sidefooted in.
Again, the Magpies tried to respond. This time, Sissoko's floated cross found de Jong at the far post, and the Dutch international rose highest but couldn't get sufficient power on his downward header to beat Cech.
Chelsea were almost gifted a third of the afternoon, six minutes into the second half. David Luiz's aimless, long ball forward was bread and butter for Krul, but the keeper stumbled on the edge of his area and the ball bounced over his head.
However, thankfully for the Dutch stopper, it rolled the wrong side of the upright, with Oscar unable to reach it in time to tap home.
On 57 minutes, an outstanding last-ditch tackle from Mike Williamson denied Eto'o, just as the Cameroon forward pulled the trigger inside the six-yard box, while soon after Krul was forced to tip a Lampard free-kick over the top.
And from the resulting corner, Hazard was given the opportunity to complete his treble following the award of a penalty by Mr Webb.
Eto'o went to ground after being grappled by substitute Yanga-Mbiwa and, having been alerted by assistant Darren Cann, the whistler pointed to the spot.
Hazard, unsurprisingly, did the rest from 12 yards, calmly stroking the penalty into the corner to put the result beyond any doubt.
With time running out, Sammy Ameobi almost grabbed a consolation, striking wide after some patient passing and an impressive lay-off into his path by de Jong.
But for the second week running, the Magpies suffered a 3-0 defeat.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Petr Cech; Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Cesar Azpilicueta; Nemanja Matic, Frank Lampard (c); Willian (Mohamed Salah 78), Oscar, Eden Hazard (Andre Schurrle 84); Samuel Eto'o (Demba Ba 71)
Subs not used: Mark Schwarzer, Ashley Cole, John Mikel Obi, Ramires
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy (Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa 40), Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor, Paul Dummett; Vurnon Anita (Sylvain Marveaux 84), Davide Santon; Hatem Ben Arfa (Dan Gosling 64), Moussa Sissoko (c), Sammy Ameobi; Luuk de Jong
Referee: Howard Webb (Yorkshire)
Bookings: Chelsea - none; Newcastle - Sammy Ameobi (49), Yanga-Mbiwa (60), Sissoko (90)
Attendance: 41,387 (2,200 Newcastle)