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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Premier League roundup: Eden Hazard hat-trick sinks Cardiff

Chelsea captain leads comeback against Neil Warnock's side while Liverpool join Londoners on five wins out of five to start the season

Eden Hazard celebrates scoring his and Chelsea's third goal from the penalty spot with teammates. Reuters
Eden Hazard celebrates scoring his and Chelsea's third goal from the penalty spot with teammates. Reuters

Chelsea and Liverpool maintained their perfect starts to the Premier League season with victories over Cardiff City and Tottenham Hotspur respectively.

An Eden Hazard hat-trick against Cardiff City helped Chelsea make it five league wins to open the campaign under new manager Maurizio Sarri, while Jurgen Klopp’s side avenged the humiliation of last season’s 4-1 defeat to Spurs at Wembley with a relatively comfortable win at the national stadium.

Cardiff opened the scoring through Sol Bamba on 16 minutes before Hazard combined with Olivier Giroud to restore parity on 37 minutes.

Hazard had Giroud to thank again on the stroke of half time after the Frenchman cushioned a ball into the Belgian’s path to make it 2-1 and the Chelsea captain completed his treble when dispatching a penalty on 80 minutes before substitute Willian completed the rout.

Liverpool joined Chelsea on a maximum 15 points by dominating a toothless Spurs team who have now lost their last two league matches.

A first-half Gigi Wijnaldum header and a scrappy Roberto Firmino goal nine minutes into the second period put Liverpool firmly in control before a late goal from Spurs substitute Erik Lamela effort set up a nervy finish.

Klopp warned afterwards that Liverpool faced bumps in the road ahead.

“We’ve won a few games and that’s good, very good, but it doesn’t change anything,” he said. “This game was really good and I’m happy with my squad but we even had problems with this game so we’ll have problems during the season. How we’ll deal with that I have no idea.

“I’m not the type of person who waits for problems but I’m old enough to know they will come. I’m long enough in this business to know that nobody plays a perfect season. Even [Manchester] City last year did not play the perfect season.”

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Read more:

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Tottenham v Liverpool takeaways: Jurgen Klopp's men emerge as genuine title contenders

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Champions City got back to winning ways after being held by Wolves before the international break with a 3-0 victory over Fulham at the Etihad Stadium with the recalled Leroy Sane on the scoresheet.

Bournemouth beat Leicester City 4-2 after the visitors had captain Wes Morgan sent off with 21 minutes remaining after receiving his second yellow card.

A Wilfried Zaha strike ensured three points for Crystal Palace at Huddersfield Town while goals from Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil set Arsenal on their way to a 2-1 win over Newcastle United.

In Saturday’s late game, Manchester United inflicted a first defeat of the season on Watford with a 2-1 win at Vicarage Road.

Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling had put United in command before Andre Gray reduced the deficit. Namanja Matic was sent off in injury time for a second bookable offence.