Eto’o’s treble kept Chelsea afloat as a potential league leader.
Cameroonian Striker, Samuel Eto’o, turned on style Sunday evening at Stamford Bridge as he netted a hat-trick that secured a thrilling 3-1 win for Chelsea over arch rivals, Manchester United.
Eto’o scored in the 17th, 45th and 49th minutes to record his first hat-trick in club football in five years.
United controlled the first 15 minutes and showed their desire to upstage the Chelsea apple cart but a ricochet from an Eto’o shot in the 17th minute saw Chelsea take the lead and from then on they were in control.
The Cameroonian scored his second in first-half stoppage time when United’s defence went to sleep from a Chelsea corner kick and Gary Cahill had time and space to cross for Eto’o to score.
United started the second-half brightly but another lapse of concentration from another corner
kick saw Cahill’s goal-bound header stopped on the line by David De Gea but Eto’o was in the right place to knock in the rebound.
Javier Hernandez came on for Ashley Young in the 57th minute and the Mexican scored again as he did last season but it was no more than a consolation.
The evening then got worse for the defending champions when Nemanja Vidic was shown a straight red card for a crude challenge on Eden Hazard.
Chelsea thus kept pace with Arsenal and Manchester City at the top of the table while United remain in seventh place with seven defeats already in the 2013/14 season – 14 points off leaders, Arsenal.