Eden Hazard has had a few off-days in recent weeks and months, but last night against West Ham he brought his A-game as he so often does when the stakes are at their highest. The Hammers may be only midtable, but the rivalry is fairly strong and prime time on a Monday night was certainly going to be a big occasion.
Accordingly, West Ham started brightly, but for all their effort and aerial bombardment, it were the couple moments of genuine quality from N’Golo Kanté, Eden Hazard, and Pedro that resulted in the only goal of the first half. Hazard then truly turned on the style in the second half, producing the game’s best touch and best pass, neither of which led directly to a goal unfortunately. Which often means that they’re quickly forgotten, so let’s be sure to note them.
Of course I’m talking about the “flick” off his back that led to the corner from which Costa scored Chelsea’s second, and the little flicked pass some time later that led to West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph producing the save of the game after Costa turned well and took aim.
Here’s the back flick to appreciate from multiple angles. Baby got back! Ronaldinho would be proud.
In case we’re doubting whether he “meant it” or not — he pretty clearly did, to be sure — he’s got priors. Here he is back in his Lille days with a little back action as well.
Not the first time that Eden Hazard has done the back pass.— Hazard Stuff (@HazardStuff_) March 6, 2017
Little genius pic.twitter.com/Q60de8ZiDc
A bit more conventional was the flick with his foot for Costa’s chance. Randolph’s save was also impressive, as was Costa’s turn, but I love the little flick to split the defense and get Costa the ball in the first place.
#Hazard assist to Costa #CFC pic.twitter.com/znv7p9kLnA— CFCVID (@CFCvid) March 6, 2017
Anyway, great stuff from Hazard overall and another important three points from the team.
More of the same against Manchester United next Monday, please!