Chelsea strolled to a comfortable 4-1 win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon, despite an early scare from their visitors, Cardiff City. Sol Bamba's opener shocked the home supporters, before Eden Hazard's hat-trick and a late stunner from Willian saw Chelsea cruise to secure all three points.
The victory means Chelsea maintain their 100% under Maurizio Sarri, while also going top of the Premier League on goal difference. Eden Hazard stole the show with his hat-trick and now sits atop the league's top scorer charts through the opening five games.
Bamba opens, Hazard closes
During the week's buildup to the game, Cardiff manager Neil Warnock claimed that his side wouldn't park the bus against Chelsea and they proved early on that they wouldn't. The visitors took the game to the Blues and took a stunning lead after 16 minutes, as Sol Bamba took advantage of a lazy Chelsea defence to tap home from close range.
The fairytale 1-0 lead didn't last too long as Eden Hazard sprung to life to level proceedings just after the half-hour mark. A dummy from Hazard allowed Olivier Giroud to feed the Belgian, who then fired his shot past Neil Etheridge to make it 1-1. Just before the break, Hazard was involved again and put his side in front. Again, Giroud's crucial touch found Hazard and the winger's shot deflected past Etheridge to make it 2-1 heading into half-time.
Hazard's hat-trick sealed the win
Since levelling the score, Chelsea didn't look back and continued to push for more goals in the second half. With 20 minutes remaining, Cardiff almost found themselves with an equalizer but Bobby Reid's effort curled just wide of the far post.
Despite a few chances for the visitors, Chelsea looked comfortable in the second half and got their cushion with ten minutes remaining. A long ball over the top to Willian saw the Brazilian burst into the box, before being brought down by Sol Bamba for a penalty.
Eden Hazard stepped up to hammer home the spot kick and seal just his second ever hat-trick for Chelsea. The three-goal outing put Hazard on five goals in three starts this season, marking an excellent start under his new attacking manager.
Chelsea weren't done though and buried the game three minutes later as Willian lined up an effort from outside the area and curled a wonderful strike into the top corner. While Cardiff took the lead and threatened at times, it was a fairly straightforward 4-1 win for Chelsea, who remain perfect through five games this season.
On the other hand, Cardiff remain winless in their return to the Premier League and have earned two points through their first five matches.
Chelsea continue to look devastating going forward, but do look shaky at times in defense and will need to work out the kinks if they want to maintain a title challenge in Sarri's debut season.
For Cardiff, it may be a long campaign for the Welsh side, with plenty of players seemingly struggling with the quality of the top flight.