A match-winning performance from Eden Hazard highlighted Chelsea’s day out in Bournemouth on Saturday, as the Blues notched a third successive win in all competitions.
Not only did Hazard do all the usual Hazardian things (winning fouls, taking-on players, creating chances), he even scored a goal with a powerful left-footed shot that flashed by Asmir Begović before the former Chelsea man could even react. (If only Hazard shot more often!) It was Eden’s fifth goal in five games against Bournemouth — he’s only scored more against Arsenal (6 in 8) — a fact that did not escape him in the post-match interviews.
“I like to play against Bournemouth! I try to play every game like this. I am just happy. I scored, we won.”
-Eden Hazard; source: Goal
When Hazard’s happy, we’re usually happy, too.
But despite his best efforts, it wasn’t a perfect performance from Chelsea by any means. While the clean sheet is certainly nice, Chelsea’s profligacy in attack is a habit that we should try to avoid at all cost.
“We controlled the game in the first half, the only problem was that we didn’t score. We should have scored more goals, we created a lot of chances, two or three big ones in the first half, and the game would be more easy if we scored this goal but at the end the most important thing was to win and after 90 minutes we did.
“It is not easy to control the game when you are just 1-0 but defensively we were strong, we did not concede a lot of chances so I think we deserved to win.
“I think Thibaut needed this clean sheet for the confidence and also the defensive players won the clean sheet, but all the team deserved this, we did well defensively.”
Hazard, Courtois, and the rest of the squad will now need to carry this confidence into the midweek clash against AS Roma as well as next weekend’s showdown at home against Manchester United.
“We want to keep the confidence high and for this we have to win every game. Now we go Tuesday to Roma to win the game and be ready for the game after.
“The season is long, you never know what is going to happen. They are top of the league and play well, they score a lot of goals but you never know – injury, bad form - so we will see. We want to be at the top of the league at the end of the season, we have a lot of games to play so we will see at the end.”
-Eden Hazard; source: Chelsea FC
Chelsea were back in fourth after the win, trailing imperious Manchester City by nine points. That’s a sizable gap and the focus right now should definitely be on solidifying the top four position rather than worrying too much about the title race. By doing the former, we would be in position for the latter should City indeed hit a bad moment.
If Hazard can play like he did on Saturday, we should have a very good chance at accomplishing our goals for this season.