Football Wrap: Rampant Lukaku, Barca hunt down Madrid

Sport360 staff 23:36 04/02/2017

Eden Hazard’s exquisite strike inspired Premier League leaders Chelsea to a 3-1 victory over Arsenal that shattered their rivals’ title challenge on Saturday.

Belgian winger Hazard left a trail of defenders in his wake to double Chelsea’s lead in the 53rd minute at Stamford Bridge.

Marcos Alonso had opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a contentious effort as the Chelsea defender clattered into Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin before heading home.

Cesc Fabregas rubbed salt into Arsenal’s wounds in the 85th minute when the former Gunners midfielder chipped into the empty net after a woeful miskick from ex-Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.

Olivier Giroud’s stoppage-time goal was no consolation for third placed Arsenal, who trail Chelsea by 12 points with 14 games remaining.

At the KCOM Stadium, Liverpool fell behind against Hull City in the 44th minute when Alfred N’Diaye took advantage of goalkeeper Simon Mignolet’s poor handling to bag a debut goal.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were finished off in the 84th minute when on-loan Everton striker Oumar Niasse raced clear to boost third bottom Hull’s survival bid.

Jermain Defoe’s double helped Sunderland to a 4-0 hammering of fellow Premier League relegation battlers Crystal Palace and left their former manager and now Palace handler Sam Allardyce plenty to think about.

Romelu Lukaku was simply unstoppable as the Belgium striker scored four times in Everton‘s 6-3 thrashing of Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday.

Lukaku struck after just 31 seconds at Goodison Park and Ronald Koeman’s team took full advantage of the early boost.

The 23-year-old’s quick-fire effort set the stage for a blizzard of goals as James McCarthy doubled Everton’s lead and Lukaku pounced again before half-time.

Josh King’s brace gave Bournemouth hope, but Lukaku hit two more in the closing stages to cap his memorable day.

Radamel Falcao scored a second-half brace as Monaco defeated Nice 3-0 on Saturday to carve open a three-point lead ahead of their Cote d’Azur rivals at the top of Ligue 1.

Lionel Messi struck another trademark free-kick as Barcelona moved to within a one point of La Liga leaders Real Madrid with a 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao .

Bayern Munich left the door open for second-placed RB Leipzig to trim their lead in the Bundesliga to one point after being held to a 1-1 draw by Schalke.

Robert Lewandowski’s deft chip gave Bayern an early lead in Munich before Schalke defender Naldo drilled home a free-kick on 13 minutes to level the scores.

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