Eden Hazard of Chelsea celebrates with teammates
Eden Hazard of Chelsea celebrates with teammates

EPL Wrap: Perfect pair create jaw dropping 110-year first

LIVERPOOL and Chelsea remain the only perfect Premier League sides, as another massive night of action saw Manchester United end Watford's dream start.

The Reds emerged unscathed from the first real test of their title credentials with a 2-1 win over Spurs at Wembley, while Maurizio Sarri's men marched on care of an emphatic 4-1 win against Cardiff - as Eden Hazard netted a hat trick.

The Blues now sit top of the table on goal difference - and its the first time in 110 years that two sides have gone five from five!

United edged past the Hornets 2-1, despite a late second yellow for Nemanja Matic, while Bournemouth smashed Leicester 4-2, Aaron Mooy's Huddersfield went down 1-0 to Crystal Palace and Manchester City did away with Fulham 3-0.

Elsewhere, there was also a win for Arsenal, as Unai Emery's side beat Newcastle 2-1 at St James' Park.

 

SPURS 1-2 LIVERPOOL

Liverpool have continued their perfect start to the season to stay top of the English Premier League after a goal in each half gave them a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.

Georginio Wijnaldum picked the perfect time to score his first away goal in the Premier League when he headed Liverpool into a 39th-minute lead on Saturday, before Roberto Firmino steered home a second early in the second half to ensure Liverpool made

it five wins from five.

 

Tottenham's Harry Kane, 2nd from left reacts after he failed to score
Tottenham's Harry Kane, 2nd from left reacts after he failed to score

In the time since Liverpool's 4-1 defeat at Tottenham in October last year, they have had the best defensive record in the Premier League, having kept more clean sheets than any other team, but they were denied another in stoppage time by Erik Lamela.

Lamela's goal from a tight angle was deemed a mere consolation, though, as Spurs slipped to consecutive league defeats for the first time since the final two games of the 2015-16 season, meaning they remain outside the top four.

-Reuters

 

WATFORD 1-2 MANCHESTER UNITED

Manchester United ended Watford's unexpectedly perfect start to the English Premier League with a 2-1 victory in the fifth round on Saturday.

Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling both scored inside three minutes in the first half and Jose Mourinho's side had to withstand a second-half fightback by Watford.

Manchester United teammates celebrate after scoring their side's second goal
Manchester United teammates celebrate after scoring their side's second goal

After Andre Gray was left unmarked to pull one back for Watford, United was reduced to 10 men in stoppage time: Nemanja Matic received a second booking for bringing down Will Hughes.

It then took David de Gea's fingertips save from Abdoulaye Doucoure's header to ensure United claimed a third victory of the campaign.

Fourth-place Watford is still ahead of United, although the gap between the sides has been narrowed to three points.

-AP

 

CHELSEA 4-1 CARDIFF

Eden Hazard's hat trick ensured Chelsea kept its perfect start to the Premier League season with a 4-1 victory over Cardiff on Saturday. Sol Bamba shocked Chelsea with Cardiff's first away goal of the season, but Hazard's treble and a late goal by Willian saw Maurizio Sarri became the fourth manager to win his first five Premier League games. He joined an elite club of Carlo Ancelotti (Chelsea), Pep Guardiola (Manchester City) and Craig Shakespeare (Leicester).

Chelsea kept pace with Liverpool at the top of the table.

 

Chelsea's Willian celebrates scoring his sides 4th goal of the game
Chelsea's Willian celebrates scoring his sides 4th goal of the game

Former Napoli manager Sarri's fine start to life in England looked to be under threat when Cardiff took the lead after 16 minutes at Stamford Bridge. Bamba latched onto a flick-on from fellow defender Sean Morrison.

Hazard, who has scored or assisted in each of Chelsea's four games this season, took over the game shortly before halftime.

The Belgium captain received the ball just outside the Cardiff box in the 37th and surged past a defender before driving a powerful finish across goal to equalize.

Seven minutes later he gave Chelsea the lead. Pedro's cross found Olivier Giroud, who laid the ball off for Hazard, allowing him to unleash a strike which deflected in off Bamba.

Chelsea rarely relinquished control from that moment on, but it wasn't until substitute Willian won a penalty in the 80th that the Blues put the game beyond doubt.

Eden Hazard of Chelsea celebrates
Eden Hazard of Chelsea celebrates

Hazard sent Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, who had already saved two penalties this season, the wrong way to complete the second Premier League hat trick of his Chelsea career.

Willian then added a goal of his own three minutes later, curling the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Cardiff has two points from five games.

-AP

 

NEWCASTLE 1-2 ARSENAL

Arsenal defeated Newcastle 2-1 on Saturday to record successive away English Premier League victories for the first time in more than a year.

Granit Xhaka scored from a long-range free kick and helped to set up Mesut Ozil for Arsenal's second before a late Ciaran Clark header ensured a nervous finish. After losing his first two matches in charge of the club, Unai Emery has guided Arsenal to three consecutive victories.

Arsenal's first consecutive away league wins since May 2017 indicate progress is being made under Emery, who replaced Arsene Wenger after last season. After a dull opening half, it required a moment of brilliance from the often- maligned Xhaka to give Arsenal the lead. The Switzerland midfielder curled a 25-yard free kick into the top corner.

Xhaka was heavily involved again as Ozil doubled the lead nine minutes later. The central midfielder found himself in space on the left flank and cut the ball back for Alexander Lacazette, whose blocked shot fell for Ozil to side-foot home from the edge of the box.

Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka got a hand to Ozil's rather tame effort, as he had done to Xhaka's free kick, and will feel he could have prevented the second, if not both of Arsenal's goals.

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil, centre, celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game
Arsenal's Mesut Ozil, centre, celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game

Newcastle, which is still looking for a first win, kept going until the end and scored a consolation as Clark headed in a stoppage-time goal. By that point, a large number of the disappointed St James' Park crowd had already departed. Although Rafael Benitez's side has picked up just one point from its first five games, all four of its defeats have come against members of the league's 'big six.'

-AP

 

MANCHESTER CITY 3-0 FULHAM

Leroy Sane needed only two minutes to score on his first Premier League start of the season and set Manchester City on its way to a 3-0 win over Fulham on Saturday.

David Silva scored his 50th EPL goal to put City in control at halftime, before Raheem Sterling sealed a comfortable victory after the break.

The victory keeps defending champion City within two points of early leaders Liverpool and Chelsea, which both maintained perfect starts to the season. Sane, who was voted the Premier League's best young player by his fellow professionals last season, only amassed 29 minutes of action in City's first three games of this campaign. He was completely left out of the squad in the final game before the two-week international break.

However, after dismissing suggestions of problems between himself and Sane, City manager Pep Guardiola recalled the Germany winger to the starting lineup and was quickly rewarded.

Fulham became a victim of its attempts to play the ball out from the back as Fernandinho intercepted a poor pass from Jean Michael Seri and raced clear on the left before crossing for Sane to tap home from close range at the Etihad Stadium.

Bernardo Silva set up his namesake for City's second as his cross deflected into the path of David Silva, who finished with typical coolness to double the lead after 21 minutes.

Raheem Sterling put the match out of Fulham's reach just two minutes into the second half as Sergio Aguero set him up for the simplest of finishes. Fulham remains on four points.

-AP

 

BOURNEMOUTH 4-2 LEICESTER

Ryan Fraser's double inspired Bournemouth as it beat 10-man Leicester 4-2 and kept up its strong start to the English Premier League on Saturday.

Scotland winger Fraser struck twice before Josh King converted a penalty to put Bournemouth in complete control by the break.

Leicester captain Wes Morgan was sent off midway through the second half, leaving space for Adam Smith to volley in Bournemouth's fourth. Leicester struck through James Maddison and Marc Albrighton in the closing stages.

 

Adam Smith of AFC Bournemouth celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal with Ryan Fraser
Adam Smith of AFC Bournemouth celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal with Ryan Fraser

Bournemouth has 10 points after winning three and drawing one of its opening five league matches, with its only defeat at table-topping Chelsea. Having overcome a hamstring problem to make Bournemouth's starting lineup, Fraser quickly made an impact.

Striker King set him free on the left and Fraser cut onto his right foot before curling in a precise finish in the 19th minute.

Bournemouth's other forward, Callum Wilson, then laid on an assist for Fraser, sending him through to slot a cool finish through the legs of Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

With a comeback already a big ask for Leicester, Morgan's sending off for a second yellow card with 21 minutes remaining made it all but impossible.

Leicester City's James Maddison scores his side's first goal of the game from a penalty
Leicester City's James Maddison scores his side's first goal of the game from a penalty

Fraser took advantage of the additional space left by Morgan's absence, crossing for Smith, who was making his 100th Premier League appearance, to volley in. Only a lapse in concentration could explain Leicester's late double, as Maddison scored from the penalty spot in the 88th to claim his second goal of the season, and Albrighton struck a minute later.

After a second consecutive loss, Leicester has six points from its opening five matches.

-AP

 

HUDDERSFIELD 0-1 CRYSTAL PALACE

Wilfried Zaha provided another reminder of his importance to Crystal Palace with a stunning solo goal in a 1-0 win at struggling Huddersfield in the English Premier League on Saturday. Palace has lost its last 12 league games when Ivory Coast winger Zaha has been absent, the latest of which came in the London club's previous game, a 2-0 defeat at home to Southampton before the international break. Roy Hodgson's side's performance was little better at Huddersfield, but a moment of individual brilliance from Zaha shortly before halftime earned a scarcely deserved victory.

He picked the ball up just inside the Huddersfield half, in what appeared to be an unthreatening situation.

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game
Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game

A few seconds later the ball was flying into the top corner. Zaha used his pace and trickery to reach the edge of the box, before cutting inside to leave two defenders in his wake and curling in a powerful strike.

Huddersfield came close to an equalizer when Aaron Mooy volleyed against the post 20 minutes into the second half, but Palace defended gamely to hold on for its first win - and points - since the opening day of the season. Stretching back to last season, Huddersfield has won just one of its last 15 Premier League matches, scoring only five goals in that time, only two of which have come this season.

-AP

Manchester United head coach Jose Mourinho gestures after his team won
Manchester United head coach Jose Mourinho gestures after his team won


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