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Highlight: Chelsea 4 – 1 Cardiff City [Premier League]

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Chelsea nudged ahead of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table as Eden Hazard’s hat-trick helped secure a come-from-behind 4-1 win over Cardiff City on Saturday.

The Belgium star needed just six first-half minutes to erase an early deficit and later returned to seal his treble from the spot as the hosts continued their perfect start to the new season.

Cardiff did fleetingly threaten an almighty upset thanks to Sol Bamba’s shock 16th-minute opener before Maurizio Sarri’s men took command on the way to a convincing fifth straight victory.

The in-form Hazard instigated a hasty turnaround that became a comfortable three points when Willian curled home seven minutes from the end, ensuring the Blues inched into top spot on goal difference.

Neil Warnock’s pre-match promise not to “shut-up shop” took shape when Bamba stunned an expectant Stamford Bridge crowd, prodding in defensive partner Sean Morrison’s header.

Neil Etheridge twice denied Mateo Kovacic an immediate response but could do little about Hazard’s unerring bottom-corner finish that restored parity.

The comeback was complete a minute before the break as Olivier Giroud’s gorgeous cushioned touch freed his team-mate to force a second in off Bamba at close range.

Cardiff remained in with a chance of extracting something from the match until substitute Willian arrived to end the resistance, first drawing a Bamba challenge that Hazard converted from the spot in the 80th minute, and then delightfully getting himself on the score sheet by picking out the top right corner three minutes later.

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HIGHLIGHTS

Highlight: Liverpool 1 – 2 Chelsea [EFL Cup]

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Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard: xclusive9ja.com

Eden Hazard came off the bench to score a wonderful winner as Chelsea battled from behind to beat Liverpool 2-1 in the EFL Cup third round, the Reds seeing their winning streak end at Anfield.

Liverpool led thanks to Daniel Sturridge’s acrobatic effort, with Jurgen Klopp’s men seeking to extend their victorious run at the start of 2018-19 to eight games despite resting Mohamed Salah.

Hazard was also on the bench, but Chelsea’s talisman made a telling impact following his introduction to deliver the free-kick that led to Emerson Palmieri’s 79th-minute equaliser before netting a stunning solo strike with five minutes left.

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Highlight: Liverpool 3 – 2 Paris Saint Germain [Champions League]

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Liverpoool: xclusive9ja.com

Roberto Firmino came off the bench to fire in a stoppage-time winner as Liverpool downed Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 in a Champions League classic at Anfield.

Kylian Mbappe appeared to have salvaged a draw for PSG after levelling the scores in the 83rd minute, but the World Cup winner then gave away possession 25 yards out from his own goal.

And Firmino, who started on the bench due to an eye injury suffered against Tottenham on Saturday, rifled across Alphonse Areola to ensure last season’s beaten finalists got off to a victorious start in Group C on Tuesday.

PSG had fought back from 2-0 down, Liverpool leading thanks to a Daniel Sturridge header and James Milner’s penalty, but Jurgen Klopp’s men deserved to come out on top.

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Highlight: Watford 1 – 2 Manchester United [Premier League]

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Manchester United produced arguably their most complete performance of the season as they beat Watford 2-1 at Vicarage Road to end their hosts’ 100 per cent start to the campaign.

A defeat for United would have seen them suffer three losses in their opening five Premier League games for the first time, but they picked up where they left off against Burnley prior to the international break, professionally dealing with an in-form Watford side.

Although the hosts initially looked bright, United finished the first half utterly dominant and 2-0 up thanks to Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling, whose goals were three minutes and 11 seconds apart.

Watford at least made things interesting with a 65th-minute Andre Gray strike, but United dug deep and fended off the home side’s late advances to seal the points despite Nemanja Matic’s red card deep into stoppage time.

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