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Eden Hazard scores again as Belgium smash Gibraltar; Bosnia, France collect narrow wins in World Cup 2018 qualifying

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For the first 80 minutes, there were, surprisingly, no Chelsea players on the scoresheet for Belgium today.  A hat-trick from Christian Benteke, who was starting instead of Romelu Lukaku, and goals from Dries Mertens and Axel Witsel staked Belgium to a 5-0 lead.  Then Eden Hazard popped up, and even though he personally dislikes scoring beyond a two-goal lead, he seemed quite content to continue playing hard and to smash home the sixth on the night for his side.

Hazard, captaining the side once again and playing the full 90, collected an assist as well, setting up Benteke's third and Belgium's fifth on the night.

Hazard was also involved in Benteke's second, making the pass before the pass, which I like to call the secondary assist a la ice hockey.

Benteke's first goal was also notable, though not for any involvement from Hazard.  It was the fastest goal in World Cup qualifying history, just seven seconds into the match.  Going to be hard to top this one.

So yeah, Gibraltar, not very good.  Michy Batshuayi came on for the final ten minutes while Thibaut Courtois kept another clean sheet, though I'm not sure he even had to make a single save.  Belgium are a perfect three-for-three so far in World Cup qualifying, scoring 13 and letting in 0.

Chelsea's other goalkeeper, Asmir Begovic kept a clean sheet as well, no doubt a welcome respite after giving up four to Belgium earlier in this international break.  Bosnia and Herzegovina didn't have it easy against Cyprus either, but eventually they found two late goals from Edin Dzeko to collect all three points.

Lastly, N'Golo Kante made a few-second cameo in France's 1-0 win over the Netherlands, replacing Antoine Griezmann in added-on time at the end of the match.  Paul Pogba scored the only goal of the game in the first half with a deceiving long-range knuckleball, giving France all three points in perhaps their toughest qualifying group game.