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PREMIER LEAGUE WRAP: Liverpool demolish Arsenal, Hazard hat-trick as Chelsea goes top, Man City held again

Liverpool potentially blew open the Premier League title race by hammering Arsenal 5-1 on Saturday in a clinical display at Anfield.

In an explosive opening 20 minutes, the Reds scored four goals to have the pre-round league leaders reeling, before the two sides exchanged goals in the second half.

An unlikely brace from defender Martin Skrtel, a simple tap-in from Raheem Sterling and a fine finish from Daniel Sturridge after a pinpoint through ball from Philippe Coutinho sent fourth-placed Liverpool on their way before Sterling added a second seven minutes into the second half.

Mikel Arteta pulled one back for the Gunners when converting from the penalty spot in the 69th minute but the damage had more than been done as Arsene Wenger's side relinquished top spot while Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool remained fourth.

Replacing the Gunners at the summit of the Premier League table is Chelsea who produced a 3-0 victory over Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge.

Eden Hazard scored a hat-trick for Jose Mourinho's Blues who are now a point clear of Arsenal and two ahead of third-placed Manchester City.

Manuel Pellegrini's side, who were all the rage about a week ago, were held to a 0-0 draw by Norwich City at Carrow Road making it two scoreless matches in a row following their stalemate with the Blues at the Etihad Stadium on Monday night.

Garry Monk had a dream start to his managerial career as Swansea City cruised past Cardiff City 3-0 in the Welsh derby while Kevin Nolan made it four goals in two matches to push West Ham United further clear of the drop zone thanks to a 2-0 triumph at Aston Villa.

Debutants Tom Ince and Joe Ledley were both on target as Crystal Palace continued their revival with a 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion, Hull City got the better of ten-man Sunderland 2-0 at the Stadium of Light, Stoke City twice equalised to force a 2-2 draw at Southampton, Fulham netted an injury-time leveller to hold the struggling Manchester United to a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford and Tottenham kept their top four hopes alive with a lucky 1-0 home success over Everton.

2013/14 Barclays Premier League season scores

Liverpool: 5 (Martin Skrtel 1'/10', Raheem Sterling 16'/52', Daniel Sturridge 20') Arsenal: 1 (Mikel Arteta (p) 69') Anfield, Liverpool - 44,701

Aston Villa: 0 West Ham United: 2 (Kevin Nolan 46'/48') Villa Park, Birmingham - 36,261

Chelsea: 3 (Eden Hazard 27'/34'/(p) 63') Newcastle United: 0 Stamford Bridge, London - 41,387

Crystal Palace: 3 (Tom Ince 15', Joe Ledley 27', Marouane Chamakh (p) 69') West Bromwich Albion: 1 (Thievy Bifouma 46') Selhurst Park, London - 24,501

Norwich City: 0 Manchester City: 0 Carrow Road, Norwich - 26,832

Southampton: 2 (Rickie Lambert 6', Steven Davis 41') Stoke City: 2 (Peter Odemwingie 38', Peter Crouch 44') St Mary's Stadium, Southampton - 27,987

Sunderland: 0 (red card: Wes Brown 4') Hull City: 2 (Shane Long 16', Nikica Jelavic 62') Stadium of Light, Sunderland - 42,810

Swansea City: 3 (Wayne Routledge 47', Nathan Dyer 79', Wilfried Bony 85') Cardiff City: 0 Liberty Stadium, Swansea - 20,402

Tottenham: 1 (Emmanuel Adebayor 65') Everton: 0 White Hart Lane, London - 35,944

Manchester United: 2 (Robin van Persie 78', Michael Carrick 80') Fulham: 2 (Steve Sidwell 19', Darren Bent 90+4') Old Trafford, Manchester - 74,966

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