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Farewell Eden? Hazard´s best goals for Chelsea

Eden Hazard put in a typically brilliant display in what looks certain to be his last appearance for Chelsea in Wednesday’s Europa League final against Arsenal.

The Belgium international’s contract at Stamford Bridge will expire at the end of next season and Real Madrid are the clear favourites for his signature.

After the Blues’ closing Premier League outing at Leicester City, Hazard said he had made up his mind and informed the club of his decision, but no official announcement on his future has been made.

Following his two-goal display in Chelsea’s 4-1 win in Baku, Hazard confirmed the game was likely his farewell match after seven years at the club.

Here, we look back at some of the goals that saw Hazard develop from a promising talent, signed from Lille in 2012, to undoubtedly the best player in Maurizio Sarri’s side.

Stoke City 0 Chelsea 4 – January 12, 2013

Chelsea were already leading 3-0 when Hazard received the ball in a central area 40 yards from goal. He made light work of turning inside Glenn Whelan, who appeared to be running on rails, and then unleashed a fierce left-footed effort that swerved beyond Asmir Begovic and into the top-left corner.

Chelsea 2 Tottenham 2 – May 2, 2016

There was little for Chelsea fans to cheer in a dismal 2015-16 season that saw them suffer a dramatic fall from grace after clinching the Premier League title in the previous campaign. However, half-time substitute Hazard sent them into raptures when he finished a move he initiated inside his own half by curling a first-time finish into the top-right corner, ending rivals Tottenham’s challenge to unlikely champions Leiceste

Chelsea 3 Arsenal 1 – February 4, 2017

Pouncing on a loose ball in the centre circle, Hazard shuffled past Laurent Koscielny and sent Francis Coquelin spinning as he headed diagonally towards the touchline. Free of the terrier-like Coquelin, the Belgian angled his run towards the box, turned Koscielny inside out and got his shot away before Shkodran Mustafi could get a block in. The victory sent eventual champions Chelsea nine points clear at the top of the Premier League and opened up a 12-point cushion to the third-placed Gunners.

Liverpool 1 Chelsea 2 – September 26, 2018

Hazard looked destined to lose the ball when he shifted away from Jordan Henderson and towards Fabinho, who he turned away from and into Roberto Firmino. However, he slipped a pass to Cesar Azpilicueta between Firmino’s legs and followed it out to the right wing. His change of pace and shielding of the ball enabled him to get around Naby Keita and into the box, where he switched direction by nutmegging Alberto Moreno before rifling a stunning finish across Simon Mignolet to seal a late win in the third round of the EFL Cup.

Chelsea 2 West Ham 0 – April 8, 2019

One thing you cannot afford Hazard is space to run into, and West Ham did exactly that in this Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge. He breezed past Mark Noble and proved too quick for the recovering Declan Rice as he surged towards the box. Two sensational, rapid touches saw him evade the challenge of Fabian Balbuena and leave the Paraguayan’s centre-back partner Angelo Ogbonna rooted to the spot. Hazard followed it up by stabbing into the bottom-right corner from 12 yards for another sensational solo goal as Ryan Fredericks lunged in from the left.

Chelsea 4 Arsenal 1 – May 29, 2019

His final Chelsea goal? It certainly looks as though Hazard’s second in Wednesday’s win will be his last in the blue jersey. While it may not have been a 30-yard screamer or coming after a solo run, it was well-worked and deserves inclusion for its significance. The winger seized upon a loose ball, darted forward and fed Olivier Giroud into the left side of the box. He continued his run and received the Frenchman’s chipped pass, sweeping home with aplomb and signing off in style.

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If it isn´t Madrid, it´s Paris – Hazard tires of speculation

Eden Hazard offered a weary response to fresh speculation linking him with a departure from Chelsea, affirming his commitment to a Stamford Bridge stay.

The Belgium star is the key man in Antonio Conte’s squad and is the Blues’ top-scorer this season with 15 strikes to his name in all competitions.

His routine star turns since joining from Lille in 2012 has reportedly drawn interest from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

However, Hazard has grown accustomed to seeing his name linked elsewhere and is able to focus fully on affairs at his current club.

“Yes, but they are interested in me for several years,” Hazard told Telefoot. “We talk about it for a long time. When it is not Paris, it is Real. And when it is not Real, it is Paris.

“Today, I am good where I am. If one day I have to move, I will move. But for now, I am good here. I am well-rounded and I will give my best for Chelsea.

“For now, I am here. There are still games to play. There are competitions we are trying to win. And then, there is the World Cup.

“I am here. I still have two and a half years on my contract at Chelsea. I am good here. I play every game. And I manage to play well in every game.

“The fans like me. My family is good here. We will see what will happen. In football, everything can happen, but also nothing can happen.”

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West Brom 0 Chelsea 4: Hazard leads rampant champions in piling pressure on Pulis

Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata ran riot as Chelsea outclassed West Brom 4-0 at the Hawthorns to turn up the heat on Tony Pulis.

As Antonio Conte celebrated his 50th Premier League match in style, the contrast to his opposite number in the dugout could not have been greater, as Pulis’ side never came close to avoiding a fourth consecutive defeat.

Conte kept David Luiz to the bench on his return to the squad but the visitors hardly needed defensive reinforcement in cruising to their 10th win in 12 league away games.

On the ground where they sealed last season’s title, Chelsea raced to a two-goal lead inside 23 minutes as Morata and Hazard exchanged assists for their quickfire goals.

It was all too easy for Marcos Alonso as he added a third from Cesc Fabregas’ set-piece in the 38th minute and the champions remained in cruise control until Hazard completed his brace with a well-taken second just beyond the hour.

The victory sees Conte’s men at least momentarily move into second, but the pressure on Pulis will only intensify with the Baggies now winless in all competitions since August.

Contrary to what was ahead, West Brom began with purpose and looked to have taken a fifth-minute lead through Salomon Rondon, but his header was correctly ruled out for offside.

Chelsea quickly overcame their early wobble and went close through Tiemoue Bakayoko, before Morata made the breakthrough in the 17th minute.

Ben Foster could only parry Hazard’s thumping left-footed effort as far as the Spain international, who tucked away the rebound for his eighth of the campaign.

It was that pair who combined again just six minutes later. Morata this time freed Hazard with a classy flick-on and, clean through on goal, the Belgium star made no mistake after rounding Foster.

And the contest was all but over by half-time as Alonso ghosted unmarked to the far post and volleyed in Fabregas’ floated free-kick, ensuring the home side left the pitch to a chorus of boos.

An isolated Rondon continued to battle hard after the restart and was denied a promising opening by Gary Cahill’s well-timed challenge, while Jake Livermore’s air-swing from the subsequent corner almost cost his side on the counter-attack.

Pulis had replaced Grzegorz Krychowiak with Claudio Yacob at the break but the midfield switch did little to patch up the holes at the back, Morata finding space to test Foster once more.

Instead it was Hazard who was first to a brace when he silkily brought down Fabregas’ ball over the top, steadied and fired through the retreating defenders.

A mix-up in Chelsea’s defence allowed substitute James McClean to stride through with a chance for a consolation, but the Republic of Ireland winger dragged his shot wide to sum up a miserable afternoon for the hosts.

Key Opta stats:

– The Baggies have lost more Premier League games against Chelsea (17) than any other opponent.
– Alvaro Morata has had a hand in 12 goals in his first 11 Premier League games for Chelsea (eight goals, four assists), more than any other Blues player in the competition’s history.
– This was Tony Pulis’ joint-heaviest home Premier League defeat, matching his 4-0 defeats to Man City (October 2016) and Chelsea (January 2013 as Stoke boss).
– Eden Hazard has scored in 16 Premier League matches under Antonio Conte and won every match.
– Hazard has scored five Premier League goals against the Baggies – against no side has he scored more (also five against Bournemouth).
– Since the start of last season, Marcos Alonso has scored more Premier League goals (9) than any other defender.

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Chelsea’s Hazard hopeful for Champions League title win

Chelsea footballer Eden Hazard says he is keen to win the Champions League title as his club begins its European campaign with a group stage match against Azerbaijani side Qarabag on Tuesday.

Hazard joined Chelsea shortly after they won their first Champions League title in 2012 but the London side have not won the competition since.

It came close in the 2013-14 season but lost to Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals.

Chelsea failed to qualify for the Champions League in the last campaign and as they prepare to return to Europe’s elite competition this season, the Belgium international is hopeful that his team can seal the trophy.

“Yeah, this year (to win it) is important… I have only got to the semi-final when we lost to Atletico Madrid. So it’s in my head to win this trophy,” the 26-year-old told British media.

“I have won the Premier League and the title in France. Now all the big players want to win the Champions League.”

Hazard played his first game for Chelsea this season in Saturday’s 2-1 league win over Leicester City, after recovering from an ankle injury sustained in June.

“It was a good test (against Leicester). I‘m just happy to be back,” Hazard added.

Following their Champions League encounter, Chelsea host London rivals Arsenal in the league on Sunday.