LONDON: A hat-trick from German winger Andre Schurrle arrived with perfect timing as Chelsea punished Arsenal’s defeat to go four points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Schurrle’ scored all the Blues’ goals in a 3-1 derby win over Fulham, completely overshadowing the other high-profile German, Felix Magath in charge of their west London rivals.
Manager Jose Mourinho’s men, perhaps feeling the effects of their midweek trip to Istanbul, were off-key in a goalless first half but after the break Schurrle scoring three in 16 minutes to extend Chelsea’s unbeaten league run to 13 matches.
Eden Hazard provided the first two assists and Fernando Torres the thuird before loanee Johnny Heitinga scored his first goal for Fulham as mere consolation.
Magath’s first home game in charge thus ended ended in defeat and with his side firmly rooted to the foot of the table.
Arsenal fell four points behind their title rivals after Jon Walters’ penalty gaveStoke a 1-0 win at the Britannia Stadium.
Walters had missed four of his past six efforts from the spot but made no mistake in the 76th minute after Laurent Koscielny handled.
It was Arsenal’s second successive away league defeat and exacerbated concerns over their fragility.
Moussa Sissoko scored twice as Newcastle won 4-1 at Hull although manager Alan Pardew risks suspension after being sent to the stands for appearing to headbutt Tigers midfielder David Meyler.
Sissoko opened the scoring in the 10th minute then Loic Remy punished an error from Maynor Figueroa just before the break.
Curtis Davies pulled one back with a header from Tom Huddlestone’s free-kick, Sissoko restored Newcastle’s two-goal cushion on the rebound after Yohan Gouffran’s shot was saved before Pardew saw red after a flare up with Meyler, who was booked for his part in the fracas.
Vurnon Anita bundled in another rebound for the visitors.
On-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku struck late to secure all three points for Everton in a 1-0 win over West Ham.