The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Hazard's hat trick leads Chelsea into Premier League lead; American Timmy Chandler hurts knee
LONDON - Chelsea took over the Premier League lead, beating Newcastle 3-0 on Saturday behind Eden Hazard's first hat trick in England.
The Blues (17-3-5) moved one point ahead of Arsenal (17-4-4), which lost 5-1 at Liverpool, and two in front of Manchester City (17-5-3), which dropped to third with a 0-0 tie at Norwich.
Coming off an excellent performance in Chelsea's upset win at City on Monday, Hazard scored in the 27th and 34th minutes at Stamford Bridge and then converted a penalty kick in the 63rd after Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa brought down Samuel Eto'o off the ball.
Liverpool (15-5-5), which is fourth, built a quick 4-0 lead at Anfield when Martin Skrtel scored in the first and 10th minutes, Raheem Sterling found the net in the 17th and Daniel Sturridge got a goal in the 20th. Sterling scored his second goal in the 52nd, and Mikel Arterta converted a penalty kick for the Gunners in the 69th after Steven Gerrard fouled Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Arsenal, which hadn't lost at Anfield since 2007, had been unbeaten in eight league games. The Gunners host Liverpool next weekend in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
BERLIN (AP) — American defender Timothy Chandler injured his left knee and left after 10 minutes in Nuremberg's 2-0 home loss to Bayern Munich.
Nuremberg said the right back will need surgery to repair a torn meniscus and likely will be sidelined eight-to-10 weeks. Another American right back, Hannover captain Steve Cherundolo, has been limited to one start and one substitute appearance this season following left knee surgery in August.
Mario Mandzukic scored in the 18th minute and Philipp Lahm added a goal in the 49th for Bayern (18-0-2), which extended its record league unbeaten streak to 45 games and restored a 13-point lead over second-place Bayer Leverkusen (14-5-1).
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Gareth Bale and Jese Rodriguez each scored and set up goals for Karim Benzema to lead Real Madrid over Villarreal 4-2 and into first place in the Spanish league on goal difference over Atletico Madrid, which lost 2-0 at Almeria.
As Cristiano Ronaldo started a three-game suspension, Real extended its unbeaten streak to 23 games in all competitions.
Bale put host Real ahead in the seventh minute and crossed for Benzema's first goal in the 25th. Mario Gaspar closed the gap for the Yellow Submarine in the 43rd, Jese restored a two-goal lead in the 64th and Mexican forward Giovani Dos Santos made it 3-2 when he curled in a free kick in the 69th. Jese assisted on Benzema's second goal in the 76th.
Following a 3-0 defeat at Real on Wednesday in the Copa del Rey that ended its own 23-game unbeaten streak, Atletico fell behind in the 80th minute when Aleix Vidal's shot ricocheted off both posts and goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia allowed Jose "Verza" Garcia's cross to go over his head and in. Aranzubia was given a red card in the 86th after he lost the ball and took down Jonathan Zongo. Verza converted the penalty kick past midfielder Gabi Fernandez, who took over in goal because all three substitutes had been used.
Real Madrid and Atletico are both 18-2-3, and defending champion Barcelona (17-2-3) would take over first Sunday with a victory at seventh-place Sevilla.
Gonzalo Higuain scored twice as third-place Napoli came from behind to beat AC Milan 3-1 and boos its bid for a Champions League place.
Adel Taarabt put visiting Milan ahead in the seventh minute of his Serie A debut, but Gokhan Inlet tied the score four minutes later and Higuain got goals in the 56th and 82nd minutes.
Napoli (14-4-5) is three points ahead of Fiorentina (13-5-5), which won 2-0 at home against Atalanta on goals by Josip Ilicic in the 16th and Rafal Wolski in the 86th.
Milan (7-8-8) is 10th. Forward Mario Balotelli broke down in tears on the bench after being substituted in the 73rd minute following a below-par performance.
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SAINT-ETIENNE, France - Saint-Etienne's bid for a Champions League spot stalled as it drew 0-0 with Rennes in the French ...