Eden Hazard scored a hat-trick as Chelsea moved to the top of the Premier League with an easy 3-0 win over Newcastle United on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho's men took advantage of Arsenal's 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Liverpool and Manchester City's goalless draw with Norwich City to leapfrog their title rivals.
And it was Belgium attacking midfielder Hazard who proved to be the hero, the 23-year-old producing a virtuoso performance and taking his tally for the season to 14 goals with an impressive treble.
Hazard opened the scoring midway through the first half with an emphatic finish, and his second quickly followed as he rounded off a superb Chelsea breakaway after 34 minutes.
That ended the game as a contest but the former Lille man applied the gloss to a fine display with a penalty just after the hour mark.
Captain John Terry was left out for Chelsea, who had the better of an open start to the game, Hazard's tame effort drawing a save from Tim Krul and Frank Lampard firing a free-kick just wide.
Chelsea quickly began to dominate proceedings and perhaps should have taken the lead after 25 minutes when Oscar lashed a shot narrowly off target.
But just two minutes later Chelsea did make the breakthrough as Hazard curled into the bottom corner having collected a pass from Branislav Ivanovic, scorer of the winning goal at Manchester City.
Newcastle wasted a glaring chance just after the half-hour mark, Moussa Sissoko - captain in the absence of the injured Cheick Tiote - denied by Cech following a superb throughball from Davide Santon.
And the visitors were punished almost immediately as Hazard finished off a marvellous counter-attack by surging into the box before playing a one-two with Samuel Eto'o and coolly slotting beyond Krul.
Mourinho's men continued to look fallible in defence and were grateful to Cech once more when the Czech Republic goalkeeper scrambled to prevent Luuk de Jong scoring on his full Newcastle debut with a close-range header.
But the visitors' problems mounted further five minutes before the half-time interval when Mathieu Debuchy limped off to be replaced by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Chelsea almost extended their lead in bizarre fashion early in the second half as Krul lost his footing in an attempt to claim David Luiz's long ball forward, which bounced over the Dutchman's head before eventually rolling wide of the goal despite Oscar's determined chase to keep the ball in play.
Mike Williamson prevented Eto'o from scoring a third with a fine block before Krul kept out a stinging free-kick from Lampard.
However, the third goal finally arrived on 63 minutes, Hazard converting from the spot in confident fashion after Yanga-Mbiwa had hauled down Eto'o in the area.
Hazard then came off to a rousing standing ovation prior to a flurry of late chances, Krul denying substiute Mohamed Salah a first goal for Chelsea before Sylvain Marveaux somehow shot wide following a Newcastle counter at the other end.
|17||E. Hazard||27' 34' 63'|
|Coach: José Mourinho|
for S. Eto'o 71'
for Willian 78'
for E. Hazard 85'
|Hands off! Milan CEO insists Donnarumma will stay|
|Glory coach Lowe accepts ban|
|Scolari extends contract with Guangzhou Evergrande|
|Guardiola eliminated City doubts - De Bruyne|
|Klopp lauds Ings for ´perfect´ response|
|Wenger: Perez needs to take chance|
|Boys to men: Mourinho challenges United players|
|Kompany committed to bargain with City medics|
|´Insipid´ Hazard overlooked for Ballon d´Or|
|Griezmann named best in LaLiga as big three share awards|
|Hargreaves puzzled by Mkhitaryan omission|
|Ballon d´Or breakdown: LaLiga, Premier League dominant amid French renaissance|
|Struggling Inter hit with Medel ban|
|Messi, Ronaldo and the full 30-man Ballon d´Or shortlist|
|Suarez, Vardy complete Ballon d´Or nominations|
|Neymar joins fellow heavyweights on Ballon d´Or shortlist|
|Neymar joins fellow heavyweights on Ballon d´Or shortlist|
|Messi, Modric nominated for Ballon d´Or|
|Liverpool strong out of Europe, says Pochettino|
|Giroud to make Arsenal return - Wenger|
|Giggs hits out at ´laughing´ United players following Chelsea battering|
|Schmidt given two-match ban after Nagelsmann slur|
|Wenger: 82 points could win the Premier League|
|´Chelsea won´t sell to Barca or Bayern´ - Gladbach optimistic over Christensen|
|Wenger contract not a priority for Arsenal|
|Wenger says sorry for making Arsenal fans suffer|
|Sissoko charged by FA for Arter elbow|
|Liverpool not even close to 100 per cent - Klopp|
|Messi, Neymar and Suarez given three-day break by Barcelona|
|´Arsenal can compete on wages´ - Gazidis quizzed on Ozil and Sanchez|
|Ibrahimovic and Lewandowski nominated for Ballon d´Or|
|What You Might Have Missed: Benfica record, a Plea from Balo and Reto Ziegler´s better than Ronaldo|
|Montella warns AC Milan stars: Don´t let first-place prize trap you|
|Zorc ´tired of b*******´ on Tuchel, Aubameyang|
|West Ham defenders must outsmart Costa, says Ogbonna|
|We did not offer ¥1billion for Nagatomo, insist Jiangsu|
|De Bruyne, Griezmann join Ballon d´Or shortlist|
|Ronaldo isn´t anxious, insists Marcelo|
|Renato Sanches wins Golden Boy award for 2016|
|´I don´t know if I will be here on Wednesday´ – De Boer unsure on future amid sack speculation|
|Ronaldo, Bale among first nominees for Ballon d´Or|
|Wenger: Arsenal showed progress with Middlesbrough draw|
|Thiago Silva wants to extend PSG stay|
|Inaki Williams dismisses Liverpool rumours|
|Coutinho does ´amazing things´ - Matip|
|Wilshere happy to be out of Arsenal comfort zone at Bournemouth|
|Lloris is Premier League´s best goalkeeper - Dier|
|Revolution striker Kamara given yellow card for twerking|
|Klopp rubbishes ´defensive problem´ claims|
|Madrid tracking Dortmund boss Tuchel, claims Watzke|
|MLS Review: Dallas win Supporters´ Shield, Sporting KC sneak into play-offs|
|Ronaldo has ´addiction for goals´ - Morata|
|Emery refuses to point the finger at Di Maria after Marseille draw|
|Zidane vows to play Morata more often|
|Garcia hails Marseille team spirit after PSG draw|
|Neville urges calm at United after Mourinho´s horror Chelsea reunion|
|Zamalek 1 Mamelodi Sundowns 0 (1-3 agg): South Africans clinch first CAF Champions League title|
|Paris Saint-Germain 0 Marseille 0: Champions thwarted in Garcia´s first game|
|Real Madrid 2 Athletic Bilbao 1: Morata to the rescue|
|Bailly sustains knee ligament injury|
|Simeone frustrated by Atletico´s finishing|
|Conte encouraged crowd as Chelsea deserved it|
|Chelsea thrashing painful for Mata and United|
|Chelsea ´dominant from first minute to last´ - Cahill|
|Mourinho blames ´incredible defensive mistakes´ for United loss|
|N´Zonzi cools talk of title challenge|
|Chelsea 4 Manchester United 0: Rampant Blues humble returning Mourinho|
|De Boer: Inter ´played with fear´ in first half|
|Juventus confirm Dybala thigh injury|
|Guardiola vows to fix Manchester City concerns|
|Sevilla 1 Atletico Madrid 0: N´Zonzi strikes to end Simeone´s unbeaten start|
|Bayern set to open Robben, Ribery renewal talks|
|Puel satisfied with City draw|
|Rangers 0 Celtic 1: Late Dembele strike settles Old Firm semi-final|
|Croatian player teased for being ´too smart for football´|
|Redmond expected City to give up chances|
|Feyenoord 1 Ajax 1: Kuyt cancels out Dolberg opener|
|Atalanta 2 Inter 1: Late penalty heaps pressure on De Boer|
|Voller defends Schmidt over touchline dismissal|
|Injured Rooney left out of United squad for Chelsea trip|
|Manchester City 1 Southampton 1: Guardiola´s men back on top but winless run continues|
|Guangzhou Evergrande clinch record sixth straight Super League title|
|´Icon´ Rooney not finished at United - Pereira|
|Zubizarreta-Garcia meeting confirmed by Marseille president|
|Aspas-inspired Celta thrash Deportivo in Galician derby|
|Lorient dismiss coach Ripoll|
|Ronaldo´s impact on football is myth-like - Perez|
|United not distracted by Mourinho´s Chelsea return - Young|
|A-League Review: 20,000th goal helps Newcastle Jets to shock comeback|
|Cech laments Arsenal´s lack of composure|
|Qatar World Cup worker dies at stadium site|
|Galliani wanted Montella at Milan in 2014|
|Mourinho hopes never to return to Chelsea|
|Barzagli angry with AC Milan defeat|
|Iniesta admits ´it could have been worse´ after Barcelona confirm 6-8 week absence|
|Mourinho: I´ll never sell Rooney|
|Ancelotti admits to bowing to Ronaldo demands|
|Ancelotti doubts Conte´s Chelsea can win Premier League|
|Romagnoli happy at Milan amid Chelsea links|
|City must not change their style - Gundogan|
|Conte wants to emulate Mourinho|
|Montella: Rising Milan must handle new expectations|
|Rummenigge dispels Alaba-Manchester City reports|
|Success the key to building connection with fans - Mourinho|
|Gundogan hails ´amazing´ duo Guardiola and Klopp|
|AC Milan players influenced ref for disallowed goal, fumes Allegri|
|Allardyce incident a tragedy, says FA chief executive Glenn|
|Locatelli can´t comprehend beating Buffon|