Hazard hat-trick helps Chelsea see off early Cardiff scare

Pedro of Chelsea

Pedro of Chelsea

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri believes Eden Hazard is capable of scoring 40 goals this season after revising his opinion of "maybe" the finest player in Europe.

On where he thinks Chelsea can improve, Sarri added: "I think in this moment we are very risky in the offensive phase but we are not so solid as I want in the defensive phase".

Sarri spent the September global break in England, dividing his time between walking his dog Ciro around the large garden of his new house a short drive from Chelsea's training ground in Surrey - "Similar to my name", he joked - and studying video of his team's upcoming opponents. "I want him to play more in the last 25 metres".

Roberto Firmino tapped home a second nine minutes into the second-half and Liverpool should have added to their lead as Sadio Mane and Naby Keita were denied by Vorm.

Pep Guardiola started Leroy Sane for the first time this campaign and last season's Premier League Young Player of the Year looked more like his old self as Fulham were put to the sword. "But I think also we need to improve, and we can improve".

The Reds opened up Saturday's Premier League fixtures with a 2-1 win over Tottenham at Wembley Stadium , which made it five wins in five games so far this season for the Anfield club.

Sarri was pleased with his side's efforts against the winless Bluebirds but said reiterated that they were still "a step away" from Liverpool and Manchester City. His defence was rarely tested, but when it was they left plenty of space to exploit with Cardiff having already gone very close from a corner before the opening goal.

"In the moment we are very unsafe in the offensive phase but we are not solid as I want in the defensive phase", he added. "Today we knew that this opponent is very strong in the set pieces but we were not ready to answer".

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