Roberto Di Matteo’s men regained top spot on the league table after Swansea City displaced them earlier in the day with a clinical effort, particularly in the first half, in wet London conditions.
The Blues struck first inside 22 minutes when new boy Vurnon Anita took down Fernando Torres in the area with Eden Hazard taking spot-kick duties with Frank Lampard on the bench. The Belgian whizkid stepped up and put it past Tim Krul’s right hand to open his account for the Londoners after having a hand in four of six previous goals.
In stoppage time of the first half, Chelsea’s lead was doubled when Hazard, who received the ball from the Spaniard, turned provider once again with a clever backheel into the path of Torres who toe-poked home from 18 yards for his second goal in two games.
Alan Pardew’s Toon improved markedly in the second half, forcing the issue a lot more than they had in the previous 45 minutes, but a well-organised Blues defence were able to subdue the likes of Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse.
Stamford Bridge, London – 41,718
Yellow cards: CHE - Fernando Torres 39’
NEW - nil