Five things we learned from Chelsea's Hazard-led win over Newcastle

A Hazard hat-trick won it for Chelsea, who moved to the top of the league after the 3-0 victory. Below are five observations from the result.

Chelsea have done some outstanding transfer business this year

The signings of Samuel Eto'o and Willian have both proved to be excellent pieces of business from the start of the season, while the deals for Mohamed Salah and Nemanja Matic may prove to be equally smart. Eto'o, for no fee, has provided the club with a player who has won trophies in Spain and Italy, and is the perfect kind of striker to benefit from Eden Hazard's skillful play. Willian has proved equally impressive, being strong going forward while prepared to dig deep and muck in with the defensive work. It is hard to find a place for Andre Schurrle to claim a regular spot in the side, but even he is a player of undoubted potential.

Matic already looks like the best defensive midfielder in the league

Nemanja Matic's performance in nullifying Yaya Toure in the midweek game at Manchester City was an outstanding masterclass in defensive midfield play. As a tall and powerful individual himself, he is someone that can operate effectively in most positions on the pitch. It means he can challenge for headers all over the pitch, out-muscle powerful opponents, and a quick look at his Benfica show-reel (he was nominated for FIFA goal of the season for 2013) shows he can pass and shoot with the best of them. Chelsea may only be wondering why they ever let him go in the first place.

Salah had a promising cameo

He was only on the pitch for 12 minutes, but the 'Egyptian Messi' offered plenty of reason to think that he could be an exciting addition to Chelsea's attack. Quick, skilful and direct, he managed to get involved in several attacks in his short time on the field, and could have had a couple of goals if he would have been a little more composed. At 21, that will come in time, and he may need a few weeks at least to settle in to the relentless Premier League, but he looks like a player to keep an eye on.

Eden Hazard should be the player this team is built around

The Belgian has grown seemingly with every passing week of the season, and against Newcastle registered his first Chelsea hat trick. But it wasn't just that he scored three goals, it was the quality with which he scored the first two, full of confidence, exceptional movement, and excellent interplay with his teammates. Having already scored more goals than last year in nearly half as many games, there is no stopping him going on to reach Messi and Ronaldo levels of influence for the Blues, and for that reason, whatever business done by Chelsea in the forseeable future should be done to get the best of the former Lille man. He could go on to be one of the best players to ever play at Stamford Bridge.

Lukaku playing ahead of Hazard could be the future of the Chelsea attack

One move that must surely be considered as of next season is to commit to pairing Romelu Lukaku up front with his fellow Belgian. Lukaku has impressed for the last two seasons while on loan, and is now more than accustomed to the rigours of the Premier League - so surely it is the time to put the two players together. Having played together at different youth levels for Belgium despite the difference in ages (Lukaku is only 20, Hazard 23), they are two of the most promising players in the world in their respective positions, and the possibility to have them playing together at both club and World Cup level will only improve their ability to link up.


image: © Ben Sutherland

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