LONDON: Eden Hazard was once more outstanding as European champions Chelsea maintained their league leadership – they have played one game more than the rest because of this Friday’s Supercup clash with Atletico de Madrid – with a 2:0 win over Newcastle.
The Belgium international opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 22nd minute before brilliantly laying on the second goal for Fernando Torres in first-half stoppage time. Chelsea won comfortably despite missing injured skipper John Terry and resting Frank Lampard on the subs’ bench.
New manager Paul Lambert is facing crisis times already after Aston Villa lost 3-1 at home to Everton for which South Africa Steven Pienaar – who scored a superb first goal – was superb.
This was the first time in 10 years that Villa have lost both opening games. Lambert, newly-arrived this summer from Norwich, insisted: “I know the job of turning results around is huge but we’re trying everything we can to sort it out.”
Andre Villas-Boas was denied his first win as Tottenham boss in dramatic fashion as James Morrison struck in stoppage time late to secure a 1:1 draw for West Bromwich at White Hart Lane. Spurs’ lack of concentration exacerbated the mystery over the new manager’s wish to transfer Michael Dawson out of the club.
Michael Laudrup’s Swansea put together some passing movements which Barcelona would have envied as they followed up their opening 5-0 win at QPR with a 3-0 dismissal of promoted West Ham. New Spanish signing Michu scored his third goal of the season.