VIDEO Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle: Highlights; Torres, Hazard Inspire Comfortable Win

 @JasonLeMiere on August 25 2012 2:37 PM
Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres celebrates a fine goal against Newcastle at Stamford Bridge. Reuters

Chelsea maintained their winning start to the season with a comfortable victory over Newcastle at a sodden Stamford Bridge.

Summer signing Eden Hazard continued his impressive start to his Chelsea career by stroking home a penalty midway through the first-half after Torres has been brought down, before the Belgian set up Torres for a fine goal just before the break.

The match rarely got out of second gear as Newcastle struggled to threaten a Chelsea back line that had looked decidedly suspect in a midweek victory over Reading. For the Blues, the combination play between Hazard, Juan Mata and Torres on occasions breathed life into an otherwise forgettable early evening contest under a downpour in West London.

Torres showed that Chelsea may well be right to place their faith in him as the main man up front this season following the departure of Didier Drogba. He gave early warning that he was in the mood as he showed great technique to take down a long pass from Raul Meireles before laying in Ryan Bertrand who, under pressure, could only poke a an effort straight at Tim Krul.

Torres' next involvement was even more impressive. The striker burst past Davide Santon into the area and then dropped the shoulder past Vurnon Anita who looked to make a challenge before quickly withdrawing his leg, but couldn't prevent making contact to bring the Spaniard to the turf. Though there was the suggestion that Torres had gone to ground easily, there can be no doubt that the challenge warranted a spot kick.

Incredibly Chelsea had now won a penalty in each of their three games to start the campaign. And once again they took full advantage as, in the absence of Frank Lampard, Hazard stepped up and placed the ball into the corner of the net.

Newcastle's only effort on target of the opening period came from a Chelsea defensive lapse. David Luiz lost the ball in his own area as he tried to dribble out of trouble and was relieved that Papiss Cisse's snap shot went straight at Cech.

Just a minute later it was 2-0 to the home side. Torres was again to the fore as he laid the ball off to Hazard on the edge of the box then continued his run to receive a neat back heel from before striking a fine instinctive effort with the outside of his right foot in off the fingertips of Krul at the near post.

The goal was a fitting reminder of the talent that persuaded Chelsea to splash out £50 million in acquiring his services just over 18 months ago.

Having got their two-goal cushion Chelsea took their foot off the pace in the second half, allowing Newcastle to endeavor to try and find an avenue back into the contest.

The talent of Hatem Ben Arfa was largely shackled, but the Frenchman tried to make something happen as he roamed across the field and beat his man but could only drag a shot wide from the edge of the box.

There was also a hint of danger as Demba Ba forced low save from Petr Cech at near post from a tight angle.

Ba had a far better opportunity to try and force a late comeback six minutes from time. After completely missing his first effort on the volley, the Senegalese striker got a second chance but his toe-poked effort from 10 yards was held well by Cech diving to his right.

That was to be the end of Newcastle's limited threat as Chelsea ran out comprehensive winners to continue to set the pace in the early stages of the new season.

C1-0N www.fasthighlights.com by fasthighlights-2012

C2-0N www.fasthighlights.com by fasthighlights-2012

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