EPL Review:  Andre Schurrle's hattrick send Chelsea four points clear at the zenith of the table | Sportzwiki

EPL Review:  Andre Schurrle’s hattrick send Chelsea four points clear at the zenith of the table

German midfielder Andre Schurrle scored a second half hattrick as Chelsea beat Fulham by 3-1 at Craven Cottage. As a result, Jose Mourinho’s men went four points clear at the top of the after Arsenal’s shock 0-1 defeat against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium. It puts Chelsea in pole position to claim the Premier League title given their run of games in the coming weeks.

The Blues from Stamford Bridge did appear fatigued after a long trip from Turkey following the one all draw against Galatasaray in midweek. After a cagey first half, Chelsea blew away the bottom placed hosts in what was a sixteen minute blitzkreig. Fulham Boss Felix Magath later said in the press conference that his side didn’t have the mental strength to fight Chelsea in the second half. The Cottagers are already bottom placed with just 21 points and are in danger of going down. A lot remains to be done if the Cottagers are to pull clear of trouble, and had only a consolation goal from John Heitinga to show for their spirited efforts on Saturday afternoon.

The home team started the brighter of the two sides and should have had the lead but Clint Dempsey failed to get a proper finishing touch to Pajtim Kasami’s cross from the left. After a brief stoppage following a clash of heads from Fulham’s duo Richardson and Hangeland, Chelsea should have scored. Spanish striker Fernando Torres was gifted a free opportunity by Fulham goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg but Torres failed to capitalise. Dan Burn later replaced Hnageland, the latter who was unable to continue and Fulham did have schances of their own.

Steve Sidwell narrowly shot wide from what looked like a tight angle but come in the second half it was all Chelsea. Hazard provide an immaculate one fr Schurrle to break the deadlock, but Torres again missed an open header following Hazard’s audacious rabona heel cross. But German  midfielder, Schrulle double dthe lead again latching on a Hazard pass before Torres bagged an assist of his own laying a wonderful suchioned pass to the German yet again to complete onslaught.

Match facts: Fulham: Stekelenburg 5; Riether 5.5, Hangeland 4 (Burn 16, 4.5), Heitinga 6, Richardson 6; Dejagah 5, Parker 5 (Karagounis 79), Sidwell 5.5, Dempsey 5; Kasami 5 (Holtby 61), Bent 4.

Subs not used: Stockdale, Riise, Kvist, Holtby, Rodallega.

Goals: Heitinga 74.

Booked: Dejagah, Kasami.

Chelsea: Cech 6; Ivanovic 6, Cahill 6.5, Terry 7, Azpilicueta 6.5; Ramires 7, Matic 7; Schurrle 9 (Luiz 87), Oscar 6 (Mikel 78), Hazard 8.5; Torres 6.5 (Ba 82).

Subs not used: Schwarzer, Cole, Lampard, Willian.

Goals: Schurrle 52, 65, 69.

Booked: Ramires.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg 6.5

Stats Courtesy: Daily Mail

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