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A brace from Pedro and goals from Diego Costa, Willian and Bertrand Traore helped Chelsea to an easy 5-1 win over Newcastle at Stamford Bridge.
Guus Hiddink resisted the temptation to rest his star players ahead of Chelsea’s midweek Champions League clash with PSG and his decision was fully vindicated with Chelsea 3-0 up and the game won after just 15 minutes.
The Blues went in three up at the break and continued their dominance with a further two goals in the second period, before Andros Townsend scored a late consolation for a sorry Newcastle side.
Chelsea started superbly and took the lead after just five minutes.
Willian charged forward and played a perfect pass into the path of Diego Costa who slid the ball past Rob Elliot to make it 1-0.
And it was two four minutes later when Rolando Aarons played a terrible cross field pass that was cut out by Pedro.
The Spaniard controlled and raced clear of the Newcastle defence before easily slotting past Elliot with a fine finish.
Newcastle were all over the place and they found themselves three down after 15 minutes when Costa turned provider and squared to Willian who fired home from close range.
The home side looked like scoring every time they attacked and they went close again 11 minutes later when Pedro whipped in a good ball that was met by Branislav Ivanovic, but his effort was blocked by Aarons.
Newcastle just couldn’t handle Chelsea’s quality and they almost went four down on the stroke of halftime. From a free-kick, Willian whipped an effort goalwards, but his strike was well saved by Elliot as the Blues went in 3-0 up at the break.
The visitors were slightly better after the break as Chelsea took their foot off the gas and they created their first real chance of the game after 57 minutes.
The home defence failed to deal with a cross and the ball feel to Aleksandar Mitrovic who controlled well but fired his effort past the post when he should have hit the target.
This near miss seemed to spark Chelsea back into life and they made it four after an hour.
Cesc Fabregas clipped a superb ball over the Newcastle defence and into the path of Pedro who raced clear and finished with aplomb.
In truth, Newcastle were an embarrassment and their humiliation was complete with seven minutes left when Cezar Azpilicueta whipped in a superb low cross that was met at the near post by substitute Bertrand Traore and he fired home to make it five.
Chelsea switched off after this and they were punished with the loss of their clean sheet in the final minute when Andros Townsend cut inside and fired home to make it 5-1.
Despite the goal, it was an abject performance from Newcastle who slip into the bottom three on goal difference, while Chelsea continue their recovery under Guus Hiddink.