Chelsea, Liverpool each maintain EPL perfection
The foundations are being laid for one of the English Premier League’s most exhilarating and competitive title races.
For the first time since the league’s inception 26 years ago, two teams — Chelsea and Liverpool — have a 100 percent winning record after five matches.
Eden Hazard’s hat trick powered Chelsea to a 4-1 victory over Cardiff on Saturday shortly after Roberto Firmino helped Liverpool overcome Tottenham 2-1.
Chelsea hosts Liverpool in a showdown at Stamford Bridge in two weeks. And the defending champions are in the slipstream. Still unbeaten, Manchester City beat Fulham 3-0 to remain two points behind the front-runners.
Watford made an unexpectedly perfect start to the campaign but that was now over after being beaten 2-1 by Manchester United, which is trying to close a six-point gap on the leaders.
More Europe: Ousmane Dembele came to Barcelona’s rescue for a third time this season when the French forward struck a second-half winner to complete a comeback at Real Sociedad 2-1. The goal gave the defending champions four wins in as many rounds of the Spanish league. That left Barcelona alone at the top of the table at two points ahead of Real Madrid, which drew at Athletic Bilbao 1-1 . ... French powerhouse Lyon drew 2-2 in Normandy following a late equalizer from Ferland Mendy that spared the blushes of another defeat. Lyon has already lost twice, and is lagging eight points behind league leader Paris Saint-Germain after only five rounds.
MLS: Miguel Almiron scored twice in the first 18 minutes and assisted on another goal to help Atlanta United beat the Colorado Rapids 3-0 on Saturday.
Almiron opened the scoring in the 10th minute, settling Julian Gressel’s wide cross and finishing with a left-footed shot from inside the upper-left corner of the 6-yard box.
Almiron slotted home Josef Martinez’s layoff to double the lead in the 18th and sent a long ball forward to Gressel, who crossed it to Hector Villalba for
Atlanta’s third in the 37th minute.
United (17-5-6) moved two points ahead of the New York Red Bulls in the Supporters’ Shield race.
The Rapids (6-16-6) lost their fourth in a row.
NWSL: Tobin Heath and Lindsey Horan scored and the host Portland Thorns advanced to the National Women’s Soccer League championship game with a 2-1 semifinal victory over the Seattle Reign.
The defending NWSL champion Thorns (13-6-6) will play the winner of the other semifinal between the Chicago Red Stars and the North Carolina Courage for the title next Saturday at Portland’s Providence Park. The semifinal between the Courage (17-1-6) and Red Stars (9-5-10) was originally set for Sunday in Cary, but the game was moved to Tuesday night in Portland because of Hurricane Florence.