In the early days of the 2016-17 Premier League season, not much was expected from Chelsea. With a new manager in Antonio Conte and seen as a team in a rebuilding process from their poor results of the previous term, a title chase was not something on the horizon for the Blues according to most pundits.
However, in October, Chelsea decided to shatter the non-believers' lack of faith. Having won 49 points in 18 matches since the 3-0 loss to Arsenal, Chelsea have become the clear favourites to win the Premier League trophy in a season that’s seen very tight competition for the top four places otherwise.
Chelsea’s quick ascent back to the top may have been surprising to most, but not to Eden Hazard.
"At the start of the season everyone was thinking, ‘Chelsea are a good team with a new manager in Antonio Conte but I don’t know if they can contend for the title’. But within the team, we know each other and we knew we were ready to win."
"Maybe outside, people saw it differently. I think most people were thinking that Chelsea could be top four but not champions. Now, though, we are top of the league, so we just want to stay there. We are motivated by being in a good position, but also because last season was very bad."
"So we want to be there again, to be at the top again, for the fans. This is why we are top now."
Back in December, after Chelsea recorded their twelfth straight win in the league with a 3-0 victory over Bournemouth, Eden was already more than happy to claim the 'title favourites' tag for the Blues. Almost two months later, the recipe for Chelsea to stay atop the Premier League table has not changed: take every game in the same way, and try their utmost to earn all points in contention.
"In football you never know but we want to keep going like this, win games and see where we are in the league at the end of the season. We take every game the same way – it doesn’t matter who it is against."
"We just have one idea in our mind and that is to win the game. We know we are a good team, so let’s go for it – let’s get three points."
-Eden Hazard; Source: Daily Star