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Football: Schurrle triple gives Chelsea breathing room

Published on Mar 2, 2014 5:50 AM
Chelsea's Andre Schurrle (cnetre) celebrates after scoring a hat trick against Fulham during their English Premier League soccer match at Craven Cottage in London on March 1, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Andre Schurrle's second-half hat-trick helped Chelsea extend their lead at the head of the Premier League to four points following a 3-1 victory at bottom club Fulham on Saturday.

Jose Mourinho's side shook off the effects of their mid-week Champions League trip to Istanbul to play Galatasaray and took full advantage of second-place Arsenal's defeat at Stoke City.

The Europa League champions could stretch their lead even further next week as they face Tottenham Hotspur in the league while Arsenal and Manchester City are on FA Cup duty.

Schurrle's treble came in 17 minutes at the start of the second half and Jonny Heitinga's 74th-minute goal provided little consolation for Fulham, who remain at the foot of the table, four points adrift of safety.

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