It’s a bit ironic that while Eden Hazard was sidelined with a back injury — yes, the one caused by Ashley Young’s Scissor Tackle™ — Chelsea scored 13 goals in four games, but since he returned to starting duty, the Blues have just 1 goal in two games, including a goose-egg for just the second time all season against Everton last night. Sure, the level of competition faced by the Blues while Hazard was out was luckily not too tough — BATE, Burnley, Derby, and Palace — but BATE themselves showed in the return match that they are more than capable of not being pushovers.
Last night’s 0-0 wasn’t necessarily a result of poor play either; Everton have been in good form and Chelsea got unlucky in certain spots while also showing a clear need to improve in others (as Sarri reflected after the match). For Hazard, it wasn’t a great result either, but also not one to overanalyze in the grand scheme of things.
“First half we played much better than the second half. We created a lot of chances, Pickford made some great saves, and we missed with a lot of our final passes and shots. But we did well and if we keep going like this, we’re going to win [a lot of] matches.”
The big picture is that Chelsea are indeed winning a lot, drawing a few, and losing none. In fact, with 18 unbeaten since the Community Shield, Chelsea remain the only big team in Europe without a competitive loss. That may not be enough in the Premier League, where Manchester City look unstoppable and have dropped just four points in the first twelve matches — they are on pace to beat their own record of 100 points from last season — but chances are, barring bad penalty shootout luck, it would be good enough for at least one trophy by the end of the season.
“It’s going well [under Sarri] but to draw games is not so good. Though at the moment, we are winning more than we are drawing. We don’t want to think about [staying unbeaten], we just need to think about staying at the top, so at the end of the season we want to win something.”
If Chelsea manage to keep this up — maybe not unbeaten, but staying in the top four, qualifying for the Champions League, and challenging for knockout competition trophies — surely, Hazard will eventually be convinced to sign on the dotted line and ensure his legacy as a Chelsea legend.
Of course, Hazard isn’t one to overanalyze that situation either. Must be nice to simply be happy.
“Believe me, I am tired [from the World Cup like all others] but I think I’m in good condition to play. Last year I got an injury with my ankle for three months. So that’s why I’m fresh now. And when you are happy on the pitch you can try some things. I’m just enjoying myself.”
“For the last seven years with Chelsea, I have always enjoyed myself. When I am on the pitch I try to give happiness, first to me and then to the fans who are watching the game. At the moment, we are doing well and that’s why I am doing well. So I am happy to play at the moment.”
-Eden Hazard; source: talkSport
If Hazard’s happy, we are happy; long may that be the case.