Chelsea on top of the EPL
Sixteen goals scored without reply. Five successive wins. And now top of the English Premier League. Chelsea are a club transformed under Antonio Conte.
Eden Hazard scored twice in a 5-0 demolition of Everton yesterday that demonstrated the attacking might that is capable of propelling Chelsea to the title.
And the ruthless display came against an Everton side which boasted the league's second-best defensive record before heading to west London, and earned a 1-1 draw at Manchester City a month ago.
City headed into the game against Middlesbrough in top place, but stumbled to a 1-1 draw to leave Pep Guardiola's side with one win in five.
Eden Hazard epitomises the revival of the team that was hovering above the relegation zone a year ago in the closing weeks of JosÈ Mourinho's second spell in charge.
Hazard has already eclipsed last season's five-goal haul in the league by taking his tally to seven against Everton. The Belgium winger cut in from the left before netting the opener in the 19th minute and Chelsea scored again within 25 seconds of the restart. Hazard and Pedro Rodriguez combined to set up Marcos Alonso, who struck through goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg's legs for his first Chelsea goal.
Diego Costa grabbed Chelsea's third before half-time after Nemanja Matic was left unmarked to head a corner into the path of the striker.
The pick of the goals came 10 minutes after the break with a move started and completed by Hazard after a one-two with Victor Moses. Hazard weaved into the penalty area before striking past Stekelenburg.
Costa was the creator of the fifth, winning the ball around the halfway line and darting down the field unchallenged before passing to Hazard. Although Hazard was denied a hat-trick by Stekelenburg, Pedro was on hand to tap into the empty net.
Other results: Manchester City 1 Middlesbrough 1; Bournemouth 1 Sunderland 2; Burnley 3 Crystal Palace 2; West Ham 1 Stoke 1.