London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Andre Schurrle recorded a hat trick in just 17 minutes as Chelsea grabbed a four-point lead in the Premier League standings with a 3-1 win over Fulham Saturday at Craven Cottage.
Schurrle notched his second hat-trick of the season, having achieved the feat for Germany against Sweden in October, and doubled his Chelsea tally to six Premier League goals in 2013-14.
Chelsea’s win, combined with Arsenal’s defeat to Stoke City, gave Jose Mourinho’s side a much comfortable cushion at the top of the Premier League table. Fulham, for its part, remained rooted to the bottom after an eighth league match without a win.
“The second half was one of the best performances of the season. We moved the ball around well. If I could’ve made 11 changes, I might have done, but I could only make three – so I did nothing. Schurrle is cold in front of the goal,” Mourinho said.
“We have four points more than Arsenal. The gap to Man City is a fake advantage. If they win their games in hand, they’re top of the league. We’re behind them,” added Mourinho, whose side extended its unbeaten run to 13 league matches.
The hosts had the better chances in the opening period, but failed to capitalize as the visitors moved up through the gears after the break.
Schurrle, ably assisted by Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres, finished all three efforts clinically despite John Heitinga’s late consolation.
“Chelsea was too good for us. They played very well, wanted to win and were the better team. There were some good situations for us in the first half but we are responsible for not playing so well,” Fulham manager Felix Magath said.
Meanwhile, a penalty kick by Jonathan Walters 14 minutes from time lifted Stoke City to a 1-0 win over Arsenal at Britannia Stadium.
In other matches, Liverpool replaced Arsenal in second place via a 3-0 win over Southampton, Everton defeated West Ham United, 1-0 and Newcastle United downed Hull City, 4-1.