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Premier League: Chelsea maintain lead over chasing Manchester City

Eden Hazard ensured Chelsea kept their 100 percent record this season with a 4-1 win over promoted Cardiff City that sent the Londoners to the top of the Premier League on Saturday.

football Updated: Sep 15, 2018 21:57 IST
Premier League,Chelsea,Manchester City
Eden Hazard celebrates scoring his team's third goal against Cardiff City.(AFP)

Chelsea continue to throw down the gauntlet to Premier League champions Manchester City as all three were victorious on their return to Premier League action on Saturday.

Chelsea also made it five wins from as many games under Maurizio Sarri thanks to the brilliance of Eden Hazard, who scored a hat-trick in a convincing 4-1 win over Cardiff to edge ahead of Liverpool on goal difference.

City remain just two points back and looked back to their best in tearing apart Fulham 3-0 thanks to goals from Leroy Sane, David Silva and Raheem Sterling.

City and Chelsea await in Liverpool’s next three league games and remained in touch with the leaders with comfortable home victories.

READ: Liverpool FC punish sloppy Tottenham Hotspur for fifth straight win

Pep Guardiola started Leroy Sane for the first time this campaign and last season’s Premier League Young Player of the Year looked more like his old self as Fulham were put to the sword.

Sane tapped home Fernandinho’s inviting cross inside two minutes before Silva smashed his 50th Premier League goal and Sterling completed the rout.

Sarri is still to taste anything but victory in English football, but had a scare early on at home to Cardiff when Sol Bamba put the visitors in front at Stamford Bridge.

However, Cardiff’s failure to significantly strengthen over the summer means they are liable to being outclassed at this level and were undone by the brilliance of Hazard.

The diminutive Belgian scored twice in seven minutes to send Chelsea in ahead at half-time and completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot before Willian added a fourth.

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring their third goal with David Silva and Sergio Aguero. (REUTERS)

Mesut Ozil quietened his critics with his first goal since February as Arsenal continued to creep up the table with a 2-1 win at Newcastle.

The Gunners are still not firing on all cylinders under new boss Unai Emery, but Granit Xhaka’s free-kick put them on course for a third straight win before Ozil compounded Newcastle’s misery as the Magpies remain rooted in the bottom three.

Bournemouth moved up to fifth with an impressive 4-2 victory over 10-man Leicester with Ryan Fraser scoring twice.

And Wilfried Zaha underlined his importance to Crystal Palace with the only goal in his return from injury in a 1-0 win at Huddersfield.

First Published: Sep 15, 2018 21:57 IST