Video: Eden Hazard’s wonder goal lifts Chelsea to third in the Premier League
Belgian scores a double as the Blues beat West Ham at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 2 West Ham United 0
Eden Hazard added several million pounds to his price tag on Monday evening with a sensational goal that will have Real Madrid – and every other top club in Europe – taking notice.
The Chelsea star weaved his way left and right through a cluster of dazed West Ham defenders to poke the ball into the net in one of the best goals in Premier League history.
Hazard added a second late on as the Blues won the London derby with ease. As a result they now move into third place in the Premier League.
Chelsea now have a two-point advantage over Tottenham and are three clear of Arsenal, who are fifth, although the north London pair have a game in hand over Chelsea.
Describing his first goal as “something special”, Hazard said: “I took the ball and then I tried to move forward. I wanted to shoot quickly. I am small so it is good when I play against tall players as it is very hard for them to change direction when I run at them. That’s my game.”
It’s a game that’s good for Chelsea. After a difficult start to the year, the Blues have now won three league matches on the bounce. This will boost their chances of qualifying for next season’s Uefa Champions League, regardless of how they fare in the Europa League.
Not my call
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is no longer being barracked by the Blues’ fans but he may be if the club can’t hang onto Hazard.
The Belgian is out of contract in 13 months’ time and there’s growing speculation that Chelsea will sell the 28-year-old to Real Madrid in the summer in order to cash in now rather than risk losing him on a free transfer at the end of the next season.
Asked what he was doing to try and secure Hazard’s loyalty, Sarri told The Times: “I cannot do anything, I think, because the club agrees with me: if Eden wants to have another experience, it is very difficult to keep him.”
Question of respect
Sarri underlined the club’s desire to keep Hazard but said they would have to accede to the player’s wishes.
The Italian added: “The club doesn’t want to sell him, but of course, we all have to respect his decision, I think. He’s in the last season of his contract.
“If he wants to have another experience, we’ll respect that. We’ll try, of course, in any way to convince him [to stay], but it’s not easy.”
Acknowledging that Hazard was irreplaceable, Sarri was then asked if the Blues could afford to sell him in the summer.
“From the technical point of view, no,” he said. “Not at the moment, because it’s impossible to find another Hazard. At the moment there isn’t another Hazard, [his] level is so high. You’d have to find two players to make the level of Hazard.”
That’s also why, added the Italian, the mooted £100m that Real Madrid are allegedly ready to pay Chelsea would be “too cheap in the current market”.
Wait and see
Soundly beaten on the pitch, West Ham supporters tried to cheer themselves up by taunting the Chelsea fans about their star player with cries of “he’s off to Madrid”.
Asked if that was true, Hazard replied: “They are wrong. I am focused with Chelsea until the end of the season. We still have top four and Europa League [to fight for]. There is still a lot to do and then we will see.”
Premier League results and fixtures
- Southampton 1 Liverpool 3
- AFC Bournemouth 1 Burnley 3
- Huddersfield Town 1 Leicester City 4
- Newcastle United 0 Crystal Palace 1
- Everton 1 Arsenal 0
- Chelsea 2 West Ham United 0
Fixtures Friday 12 April
- Leicester City vs. Newcastle United (8pm, live on Sky Sports)
Saturday 13 April (3pm unless stated)
- Tottenham Hotspur vs. Huddersfield Town (12.30pm, live on Sky Sports)
- Brighton & Hove Albion vs. AFC Bournemouth
- Burnley vs. Cardiff City
- Fulham vs. Everton
- Southampton vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Manchester United vs. West Ham United (5.30pm, live on BT Sport 1)
Sunday 14 April
- Crystal Palace vs. Manchester City (2.05pm, live on Sky Sports)
- Liverpool vs. Chelsea (4.30pm, live on Sky Sports)
Monday 15 April
- Watford vs. Arsenal (8pm, live on Sky Sports)