Eden Hazard was only supposed to play 60 or so minutes, but certainly not more than 75 or 80 against Newcastle United today, but thanks to the way the match played out, he ended up going the whole 90. He will need extra ice in that ice bath tonight.
Staying to the later stages did allow him to be on hand to stake Chelsea into the lead, converting from the penalty spot after Marcos Alonso was cleaned out from behind by Fabian Schär. Hazard converted with customary aplomb for his 70th Premier League goal for the club, which is good for third all-time (some sources have JFH on 70 as well, so it might a joint-third).
70 - Eden Hazard’s goal was his 70th for Chelsea in the Premier League - overtaking Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in third (69); only Frank Lampard (147) and Didier Drogba (104) have scored more for the Blues. Special. pic.twitter.com/ARNDX2xTvm— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 26, 2018
Obviously this is ignoring anything that happened before the formation of the Premier League, but Hazard is 8th in all-time top flight goals (Premier League + First Divison) at the club and not much lower if we include all other “league goals” in the count.
Eden is in fact closing in on becoming just the tenth player in club history with 100 total goals, joining Lampard (211), Tambling (202), Dixon (193), Drogba (164), Bentley (150), Osgood (150), Greaves (132), Mills (125), and Hilsdon (108). With 90 goals to his name, Eden should easily reach that century mark this season.
Of course, he will tell you that individual accomplishments matter not much. It’s all about the team, the points, and the overall effort. A clearly knackered Hazard managed to squeeze that much out of himself in his post-match tunnel interview.
“Everyone was thinking to draw when they scored but we are Chelsea and we never give up. We did well, created a lot of chances and we deserved to win. I feel tired tonight, but the whole team is tired but we have the points.”
-Eden Hazard; source: BBC
Eden was harried, hassled, kicked, and bodychecked all day long — the referee called 5 fouls, but it could’ve, should’ve been twice that, at least — but he came through in the end, as he so often has over the years.
Maurizio Sarri was happy with the effort as well.
“Like usual, he is used to [the fouls]. He has the right attitude. He played very well, it might have been better for him to play 75 minutes but Kovacic wanted to come off.”
-Eden Hazard; source: Football.London
Half-fit, bruised, and battered. Well done!