Chelsea pulled four points clear at the top of the Premier League after Andre Schurrle hit a hat-trick against bottom-of-the-table Fulham.

After a goalless first half, it took the German only 16 minutes between his first and third strikes, twice combining with Eden Hazard before being played in by Fernando Torres.

Best and worst of Chelsea - Mourinho

Johnny Heitinga pulled one back after Darren Bent's clip back from a corner.

But Fulham are five points from safety and have not won in eight league games.

They have not won either of new manager Felix Magath's two games in charge, nor taken three points off a team since a 2-1 victory over West Ham on 1 January.

And though they are only four points adrift of 17th-placed West Brom, their goal difference is 26 worse than the Baggies'.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are unbeaten in 12 league matches since their 3-2 defeat by Stoke in December - and moved further clear at the top after rivals Arsenal lost 1-0 at Stoke.

Liverpool are now the Blues' nearest contenders, Brendan Rodgers's side moving above the Gunners with a 3-0 win at Southampton.

Bogey team

Fulham have now gone 17 games without beating Chelsea, since a 1-0 win at Craven Cottage in March 2006

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who was caught on camera appearing to criticise his strikers' lack of goals last week, left Samuel Eto'o out of the squad entirely, starting with Torres up front, but it was Schurrle who did the damage.

After a poor first half, Mourinho and his Chelsea players emerged early for the second period, with Hazard at the centre of everything.

First, his clipped pass over the top played Schurrle in front of Dan Burn, before the German slotted past Maarten Stekelenburg.

The pair combined again when Hazard dinked Schurrle into the penalty area for a simple chance, before Torres repeated the trick, setting up his fellow forward for his sixth goal of the season.

With little else to lose, Fulham pushed on, pulling a goal back after the ball ping-ponged in the penalty area, before Bent managed a sharp pass across goal for defender Heitinga to slide home.

Chelsea too good for Fulham - Magath

Substitutes Lewis Holtby and Giorgos Karagounis, who replaced Pajtim Kasami and Scott Parker, gave the Cottagers some spark but the damage had already been done.

Earlier, Fulham started well as Clint Dempsey headed over from Kasami's cross, before goalkeeper Stekelenburg's attempted clearance clattered into Torres and bounced to safety.

If the first warning was not enough, Stekelenburg then dithered a second time, with Torres blocking the clearance and having his shot deflected wide.

Fulham captain Brede Hangeland only lasted 16 minutes, replaced by Burn after a nasty clash of heads with team-mate Kieran Richardson.

The first half was largely devoid of quality, Chelsea dominating possession but doing little with it, while Fulham pressed hard, humped long balls upfield and struggled for composure in front of goal.

Relegation form?

Fulham have conceded 62 goals in the Premier League this season, the most of any teams, and have let in 31 at home

The Cottagers' best work frequently came down the left, Richardson combining with Kasami, though there was little end product.

Steve Sidwell, Fulham's leading scorer, had a good chance late in the half, but summed up the overall standard of finishing by belting the ball into the crowd.

Moments later, Stekelenburg had to be alert, saving Torres's sharp shot after the Spaniard fired goalwards on the half-turn.

Fulham manager Felix Magath:

"Chelsea were 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.

"We will not stay up with this kind of defending and need to learn better. The biggest problem was that our captain [Brede Hangeland] was gone after a few minutes. If he could have played the whole game, we could have had a different result.

"You cannot ask for a win against the Premier League leaders, so the next games are the ones we will be looking to win."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Fulham

  • 01 Stekelenburg
  • 27 Riether
  • 15 Richardson
  • 28 Parker (Karagounis - 79' )
  • 04 Heitinga
  • 05 Hangeland (Burn - 16' )
  • 24 Dejagah Booked
  • 07 Sidwell
  • 39 Bent
  • 32 Dempsey
  • 08 Kasami Booked (Holtby - 62' )

Substitutes

  • 03 Riise
  • 06 Kvist
  • 10 Holtby
  • 13 Stockdale
  • 14 Karagounis
  • 20 Rodallega
  • 33 Burn

Chelsea

  • 01 Cech
  • 02 Ivanovic
  • 28 Azpilicueta
  • 21 Matic
  • 24 Cahill
  • 26 Terry
  • 14 Schürrle (David Luiz - 87' )
  • 07 Ramires Booked
  • 09 Torres (Ba - 82' )
  • 11 Oscar (Mikel - 78' )
  • 17 Hazard

Substitutes

  • 03 Cole
  • 04 David Luiz
  • 08 Lampard
  • 12 Mikel
  • 19 Ba
  • 22 Willian
  • 23 Schwarzer
Ref: Mark Clattenburg
Att: 24,577

Match Stats

Shots

7 17

On target

3 8

Corners

5 4

Fouls

14 13

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Fulham 1, Chelsea 3.

90:00 +4:06 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Fulham 1, Chelsea 3.

90:00 +3:40

Attempt missed. Ramires (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

90:00 +3:39

Attempt saved. Demba Ba (Chelsea) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ramires.

90:00 +0:02

Attempt saved. Ramires (Chelsea) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by John Obi Mikel.

89:09

Foul by Demba Ba (Chelsea).

89:09

Kieran Richardson (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

88:45

Petr Cech (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

88:45

Foul by Johnny Heitinga (Fulham).

88:16

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by César Azpilicueta.

87:56

Foul by Nemanja Matic (Chelsea).

87:56

Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

86:35 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Chelsea. David Luiz replaces Andre Schürrle.

81:25 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Chelsea. Demba Ba replaces Fernando Torres.

80:06

Attempt saved. Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lewis Holtby.

79:19

Attempt missed. Andre Schürrle (Chelsea) right footed shot from very close range is too high. Assisted by Eden Hazard with a cross.

78:55 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Fulham. Giorgos Karagounis replaces Scott Parker.

78:27

Fernando Torres (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

78:27

Foul by Johnny Heitinga (Fulham).

77:11 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Chelsea. John Obi Mikel replaces Oscar.

73:29 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Fulham 1, Chelsea 3. Johnny Heitinga (Fulham) left footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Darren Bent following a corner.

73:10

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Branislav Ivanovic.

71:21

Foul by Oscar (Chelsea).

71:21

Lewis Holtby (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.

67:59 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Fulham 0, Chelsea 3. Andre Schürrle (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Fernando Torres.

67:10

Ramires (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.

67:10

Foul by Clint Dempsey (Fulham).

66:16

Attempt missed. Andre Schürrle (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

66:15

Attempt blocked. Andre Schürrle (Chelsea) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Eden Hazard.

65:33

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Dan Burn.

65:30

Attempt blocked. Andre Schürrle (Chelsea) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Eden Hazard.

64:13 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Fulham 0, Chelsea 2. Andre Schürrle (Chelsea) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Eden Hazard with a through ball.

61:08 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Fulham. Lewis Holtby replaces Pajtim Kasami.

60:45

Offside, Chelsea. Andre Schürrle tries a through ball, but Oscar is caught offside.

59:10

Attempt missed. Gary Cahill (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Oscar.

58:20

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Kieran Richardson.

58:14

Attempt blocked. Fernando Torres (Chelsea) header from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Eden Hazard with a cross.

55:13

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Branislav Ivanovic.

51:25 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Fulham 0, Chelsea 1. Andre Schürrle (Chelsea) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Eden Hazard with a through ball.

49:48 Booking

Booking Ramires (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card.

49:32

Foul by Ramires (Chelsea).

49:32

Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.

48:01

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Sascha Riether.

47:58

Attempt blocked. Andre Schürrle (Chelsea) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Eden Hazard.

47:24 Booking

Booking Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

47:15

Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

47:15

Foul by Pajtim Kasami (Fulham).

46:58

Attempt missed. Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Sascha Riether with a cross.

45:55

Foul by Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea).

45:55

Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.

45:00

Second Half begins Fulham 0, Chelsea 0.

45:00 +3:00 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Fulham 0, Chelsea 0.

45:00 +2:00

Attempt blocked. Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Maarten Stekelenburg.

45:00 +1:46

Attempt blocked. Fernando Torres (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ramires.

45:00 +1:04

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Maarten Stekelenburg.

45:00 +0:59

Attempt saved. Fernando Torres (Chelsea) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Oscar with a cross.

45:00 +0:30

Fernando Torres (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the left wing.

45:00 +0:30

Foul by Johnny Heitinga (Fulham).

44:07

Hand ball by Steve Sidwell (Fulham).

43:16

Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

43:16

Foul by Scott Parker (Fulham).

40:57

Foul by Fernando Torres (Chelsea).

40:57

Steve Sidwell (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.

40:09

Hand ball by Ramires (Chelsea).

39:42

Attempt saved. Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

38:45

Foul by Ramires (Chelsea).

38:45

Clint Dempsey (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

34:42 Booking

Booking Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

34:40

César Azpilicueta (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

34:40

Foul by Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham).

32:48

Foul by Andre Schürrle (Chelsea).

32:48

Scott Parker (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

31:07

Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.

31:07

Foul by Kieran Richardson (Fulham).

30:08

Foul by Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea).

30:08

Steve Sidwell (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.

27:53

Attempt missed. Ramires (Chelsea) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Eden Hazard.

26:33

Offside, Chelsea. César Azpilicueta tries a through ball, but Fernando Torres is caught offside.

26:10

Hand ball by Scott Parker (Fulham).

22:28

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by John Terry.

21:44

Offside, Chelsea. Oscar tries a through ball, but Fernando Torres is caught offside.

21:21

Nemanja Matic (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

21:21

Foul by Darren Bent (Fulham).

20:32

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by César Azpilicueta.

16:09

Foul by Ramires (Chelsea).

16:09

Scott Parker (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

15:06 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Fulham. Dan Burn replaces Brede Hangeland because of an injury.

14:58

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

13:56

Delay in match Brede Hangeland (Fulham) because of an injury.

13:12

Offside, Chelsea. Fernando Torres tries a through ball, but Andre Schürrle is caught offside.

12:57

Attempt saved. Fernando Torres (Chelsea) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom left corner.

10:55

Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the left wing.

10:55

Foul by Sascha Riether (Fulham).

10:06

Offside, Fulham. Scott Parker tries a through ball, but Clint Dempsey is caught offside.

9:12

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

7:40

Delay in match Brede Hangeland (Fulham) because of an injury.

6:45

Foul by Ramires (Chelsea).

6:45

Steve Sidwell (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:05

Nemanja Matic (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the left wing.

6:05

Foul by Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham).

4:31

Attempt missed. Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Johnny Heitinga following a set piece situation.

4:02

Foul by John Terry (Chelsea).

4:02

Darren Bent (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.

2:08

Attempt missed. Clint Dempsey (Fulham) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Pajtim Kasami with a cross.

1:01

Andre Schürrle (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

1:01

Foul by Kieran Richardson (Fulham).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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