When Eden Hazard plays well, Chelsea play well. (Or is it that when Chelsea play well, Eden Hazard plays well?) Either way, both Hazard and all the other Blue shirts out there on Sunday played very well in what turned into a rather comprehensive win over a surprisingly toothless Liverpool. Do we credit that to Chelsea? Do we credit that to Liverpool’s attentions elsewhere? Maybe we shouldn’t overthink it too much.
The big takeaway is that Chelsea are three points closer to Champions League salvation, and we have Hazard to thank for his massive role in it. And Giroud. And Moses. And Bakayoko. And Kanté. How can we forget about Kanté?!
It’s all in the teamwork. Win together, lose together, work together.
“...if we play like this the last three games, we can have something special at the end of the season. Let’s hope for something big. We all work together and when we play this kind of game, it is a good feeling after the game.”
-Eden Hazard; source: Chelsea FC
Hazard was once again deployed as the free-man, the shadow striker, the, shall we say, trequartista behind the spearhead of Giroud. When Eden’s willing and able, this position truly allows him to run the show and do some damage. Sure, he did not get on the scoresheet, but we’d be hard pressed to identify someone with a greater consistent influence at the attacking end for Chelsea.
“[Giroud] is easy to find on the pitch, when you are a small player like me, it’s nice to have a target man like him. He missed a couple but in the end he scored and we won the game so it’s okay.”
With the defense in lockdown mode keeping a third consecutive clean sheet, the gameplan was probably as well executed as Conte could’ve hoped for on the drawing board.
Now we just have to keep it going.
”Massive, massive result.
”It is a big win so we can try to be in the top four at the end of the season. [...] If we win our last two games I think we will make the top four, it is not in our own hands, but we will give everything.”
-Eden Hazard; source: Express
Spurs (or Liverpool) willing, two more wins could indeed vault Chelsea back into the top four, and then maybe even use that momentum to win the FA Cup. And even if the Champions League push falls just a bit short, the damage from earlier in the season proving just a bit too great to overcome, at least we’ll be ending the season on a good note and give us something positive to carry forward into the summer and next season.