Chelsea 3 Newcastle United 1Gayle puts Newcastle ahead on 12’Hazard levels on 21’Morata puts Chelsea in front on 33’Hazard nets from the spot on 74
Dwight Gayle opened the scoring at Stamford Bridge with a well-taken finish on 12 minutes.
Eden Hazard then leveled in emphatic fashion on 21 minutes before Alvaro Morata put the Blues ahead with a stooping header with 33 minutes played.
And Hazard secured all three points for Antonio Conte’s side with a cheeky penalty with 74 minutes on the clock.
The visitors started brightly but Mikel Merino could only stab the ball into the arms of Thibaut Courtois after picking up a pass from Ayoze Perez after he had forced his way into the box.
Morata fired his first sight of goal well over the target minutes before Gayle slotted home. Courtois came off his line to save from Jacob Murphy but could do nothing about the well-placed rebound.
Chelsea hit back from a number of set-pieces, while Karl Darlow produced a stunning point-blank save from Hazard after he was set through on goal by a superb ball over the Newcastle defence from Cesc Fabregas from inside his own half.
Andreas Christensen headed against a post as Chelsea came closer to an equaliser – that ultimately arrived from the boot of Hazard – with a shot that bounced up over Darlow, after Florian Lejeune deflected the ball into the goalscorers path.
And Chelsea were in front as Morata out muscled Chancel Mbemba to head home past Darlow, from an excellent cross from Victor Moses from the right, midway through the first half.
Danny Drinkwater fired wide as the Blues continued to attack, mainly though Fabregas and Hazard, who Newcastle were increasingly struggling to contain.
It was a strong start to the second period for Conte’s side, with Christensen feeding Moses, who in turn drilled the ball across goal for the awaiting Morata, only for Mbemba to make a last-ditch block.
A deflection off Ciaran Clark from a Hazard shot on 56 minutes, sent Darlow the wrong way, as the ball spun out for a corner, before a mazy Hazard run into the Newcastle box ended with the Belgian crowded out.
Perez was wide with a speculative shot wide from 20 yards on the hour mark as Darlow comfortably saved from the head of Moses with 67 played.
Hazard then turned expertly on the edge of the box and got his shot away, but Darlow was down quickly to collect, before the mercurial midfielder came close to a Chelsea third after a neat one-two with Drinkwater, but he was off balance when swinging his boot at the return ball.
Chelsea though were further ahead on 74 minutes when Hazard buried from the spot – after Lejeune had upended Moses – with a chipped penalty down the centre of the goal past a despairing Darlow.
Hazard was in again moments later, after being released by Morata, but Darlow was quickly out and stood up strong to a dinked chip that hit his body and deflected to safety.
Hazard was replaced in the 78 minute, much to the delight of the Toon fans, although the sight of Willian entering the field wouldn’t have given them much hope – as Fabregas also made way, for Tiemoue Bakayoko.
Ritchie did well with the match winding down to stop Drinkwater from adding a fourth, after the former Leicester man had collected an N’golo Kante ball over the Newcastle defence.
Chelsea though ended the game defending a number of set-pieces that failed to threaten Courtois, before an ambitious long-range drive from second-half substitute Jonjo Shelvey for the last piece of action of this one-sided contest.