Aug 25 2012 By Yann Tear
Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle United
EDEN HAZARD grabbed his first goal in Chelsea colours to crown another sparkling display that confirmed the exciting early impressions about his value.
The £32m midfielder (pictured) rifled in from the spot after 22 minutes to set the Blues on their way to a third win in their first three games.
But the silky-skilled Belgian was equally eye catching when he set up a second goal in first half injury time for Fernando Torres.- his back heel taking out Steven Taylor and giving the Spaniard the chance to toe poke smartly into the roof of the net from the edge of the area.
Given the workload to come, Roberto Di Matteo won't mind that the second half fizzled out a little uneventfully and his side will travel to Monaco top of the league and in good spirits for Friday's Super Cup date with Atletico Madrid.
With Frank Lampard rested, Hazard took on the penalty duties and was happy to do the honours after a jink into the area by Torres had suckered United's Dutch midfielder Vurnon Anita into a trip.
That goal meant we had a more or less carbon copy of the opening quarter against Reading on Wednesday night, when Lampard had been the one to get the ball rolling with a spot-kick.
Although there was no avalanche of chances, the Blues were well worth their lead for the way they probed urgently and they should have been in front when Torres – looking sharp and confident again – knocked a long ball down for Ryan Bertrand in space only 18 yards out. The youngster ought to have done better, but was rushed a bit by the arriving Fabricio Coloccini – sending a lame shot straight at keeper Tim Krul.
The Geordies took the breath away on their visit to the Bridge at the tail end of last season. Or at least Papiss Cisse did with two wonder strikes. This time, they only really came to life after finding themselves two goals down.
Demba Ba did go close in the second half - forcing Petr Cech into a save low down at his near post and then having a good opening, which he scuffed when only six yards out. But the Blues really had little difficulty in keeping any threat of a comeback at arm's length.
They also came close to adding a third when Bertrand's raking drive from outside the area needed a touch from Krul to ensure it went wide.
The Blues will be pleased to have maintained the celebratory air that surrounds the club in the warm afterglow of conquering Europe.
The midweek thriller against Reading having kept the mood buoyant and the good vibes were still there at kick-off time as the Blues paraded new signings Cesar Azpilicueta and Victor Moses and warmly applauded Sebastian Coe, who was up in the directors' box.
The hope was, that as a Blues fan and as the driving force of the Olympics, Lord Coe would sprinkle a little of the stardust from the Games. In the event, Hazard did it for him.
Line up: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole; Meireles (Lampard 88), Mikel; Mata (Ramires 67), Hazard, Bertrand; Torres. Subs not used: Turnbull, Essien, Romeu, Oscar, Sturridge.