Tuesday 22 January 2019

Hazard staying focused on team success as he approaches 100 goals for Chelsea

The Belgium playmaker is two strikes away from the milestone.

Eden Hazard was on the scoresheet for Chelsea at Brighton (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Eden Hazard was on the scoresheet for Chelsea at Brighton (Gareth Fuller/PA)

By Nick Purewal, Press Association Sport

Eden Hazard insists he is more focused on securing wins for Chelsea than reaching personal landmarks with the Blues.

The Belgium talisman set up Pedro before scoring himself as Chelsea eased past Brighton 2-1 at the Amex Stadium on Sunday, to retain fourth place in the Premier League.

Hazard now boasts a combined total of 17 goals and assists in 16 league matches this term, already more than the 16 he accrued in 34 appearances last season.

The 27-year-old now has 98 goals for Chelsea, but admitted he is not focusing on those individual achievements.

Asked if he has a special celebration in mind for his 100th Chelsea goal, Hazard said: “I don’t know!

“I know it’s close to 100 goals for Chelsea, but that’s not in my mind, I just want to win games for Chelsea, that’s important.”

Hazard’s two standout interventions proved enough for Chelsea’s victory, though Solly March’s neat finish set up a nervy ending as Brighton pressed for an equaliser.

Marcos Alonso was fortunate to escape a red card when hauling back March late on, though in truth Chelsea still merited their win.

Hazard picked up an ankle knock late on in Sunday’s clash, but feels confident that niggle will not hold him back for long.

“I think it’s not too bad, I’ll chat with the doctor, but not too bad,” Hazard told Chelsea TV.

“I just twisted it a bit.

“It’s a long season. We want to close the gap with the teams above us so we need to win games, and step by step try to be the best team in England.

“I always enjoy my football. We have good players in the team, we understand each other more now than we did at the beginning of the season, so we just want to be on the pitch and create something.”

Brighton boss Chris Hughton was left to lament the tribulations of attempting to shut down one of the globe’s greatest attacking talents in the shape of Hazard.

“Eden is very difficult to stop, he’s a world-class player,” said Hughton.

“When you have that kind of player it’s very difficult to get close to them.

“You have to do that as a team, and we got to grips with them better in the second half than we did from about 15 minutes in.”

Press Association

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