Soccer-Chelsea go top as Arsenal are crushed at Liverpool


(Adds afternoon kickoffs)

By Mike Collett

LONDON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - An Eden Hazard hat-trick swept Chelsea back to the top of the Premier League on Saturday when they beat Newcastle United 3-0 at Stamford Bridge after previous leaders Arsenal were thrashed 5-1 at Liverpool.

Manchester City, who started the day in second place, slipped to third after they were held to a 0-0 draw at Norwich City despite dominating for almost the entire match.

With 13 games remaining, Chelsea are top with 56 points, followed by Arsenal on 55, City with 54 and Liverpool on 50.

Chelsea took advantage of Arsenal's demolition at Anfield with a comprehensive win over Newcastle who had no answer to Hazard's artistry which produced goals in the 27th and 34th minutes with his third coming from the penalty spot after 63.

Earlier Liverpool crushed Arsenal with a stunning display of attacking football that produced four goals in an astonishing opening 20 minutes with Martin Skrtel (2), Raheem Sterling (2) and Daniel Sturridge all getting on the scoresheet.

Mikel Arteta scored a second half consolation for the Gunners from the penalty spot.

At the other end of the table, Crystal Palace climbed to 13th after a 3-1 win over visitors West Bromwich Albion who slipped into the relegation zone.

West Ham United climbed away from the bottom three with a 2-0 win at Aston Villa.

In the day's other games, Southampton and Stoke City drew 2-2 while Hull City won 2-0 at 10-man Sunderland, who had Wes Brown sent off after three minutes. Swansea were meeting Cardiff City in the South Wales derby kicking off at 1730 GMT. (Reporting by Mike Collett; editing by Ken Ferris)

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