Chelsea inflict Man City’s first defeat, Salah hat-trick sends Liverpool top


London (AFP) – Chelsea inflicted champions Manchester City’s first Premier League defeat of the season with a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge to allow Liverpool to move top of the table on Saturday.

N’Golo Kante and David Luiz were on target for Maurizio Sarri’s men as City paid for failing to take advantage of their first-half dominance.

Liverpool now lead City by a point after Mohamed Salah’s hat-trick secured an impressive 4-0 win at Bournemouth.

Arsenal extended their unbeaten run to 21 games, but left it late to beat Huddersfield 1-0 thanks to Lucas Torreira’s overhead kick seven minutes from time to remain level on points with third-placed Chelsea.

And Manchester United also finally hit some free-scoring form with a 4-1 win over Fulham at Old Trafford to move up to sixth.

City had looked imperious in recent weeks, winning their previous seven Premier League games, and started in the same vein.

However, Pep Guardiola’s men missed the injured Sergio Aguero up front as Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane wasted early chances.

Chelsea had barely been in the City half before taking the lead just before half-time when Eden Hazard teed up Kante to fire into the roof of the net.

However, it was the hosts who enjoyed the better of the second period and sealed a huge victory 12 minutes from time when Luiz’s looping header from Hazard’s corner dipped in via the crossbar.

– Salah back to his best –

Salah had been rested from the start for Wednesday’s 3-1 win at Burnley that kept Jurgen Klopp’s men on City’s coat-tails, and the Egyptian looked to have benefited from a break as he looked more like the player who netted 44 goals in an incredible debut season at Anfield.

The visitors were slightly fortunate to take the lead on 25 minutes when Asmir Begovic fumbled Roberto Firmino’s long-range shot Salah’s follow-up effort was allowed to stand despite him appearing to be marginally offside.

Salah made the game safe by showing determination to stay on his feet despite being fouled before finding the bottom corner early in the second-half.

Steve Cook’s own goal then made it 3-0 before Salah sealed his hat-trick by remaining remarkably cool to dribble past Begovic twice before prodding home.

“What Mo did around his two goals in the second half was just exceptional,” said Klopp. “I don’t know at the moment a lot of players who would have scored these two goals.”

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