It took Chelsea attacker Eden Hazard only 10 games and 753 minutes to better his goals total of 4 from 31 Premier League appearances last season — his worst output since the 2008-09 season at Lille, which was his first full year as a professional. Against Southampton, Hazard got his fifth league goal (and his first assist as well!) as is now tied with Arsenal's Theo Walcott, Sunderland's Jermaine Defoe and West Ham's Michail Antonio for fifth on the goalscoring charts.
We’ve already looked at Hazard’s highlights from the game and the glowing reviews given by both managers of his performance. Here’s what Hazard himself said of his performance, in an interview with French television.
"I am having a very good start to the season. I am happy with what I am doing at this moment. I am enjoying my football. I am very happy with the performance of the whole team. I don't care about me; I just want the team to win the game."
"But I'm good, I'm confident and I want to stay like this. I try to be decisive for the team. Against Southampton I scored and had one assist. This is what the coach wants and what my team-mates want."
-Eden Hazard; Source: SFR Sport via London Evening Standard
Hazard's words of putting the team first and foremost could be taken as mere “athletisms” or PR-talk, but he’s always backed this up in comments and with his unselfish play on the pitch — to his own detriment at times, even. One of the biggest ways he’s improved this season has been in actually taking shots (he and Costa lead the team and are tied for 6th in the league with 31) and creating chances for himself. His new role in Conte’s 3-4-3 has been instrumental in helping to bring (back) out his best.
After the major slump of last season, it's great to see Hazard once again sparkling on the center stage.