Sport Soccer

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Mourinho believes Hazard is the key for Chelsea’s title challenge

Hazard was the player of the season when Chelsea won the title under Mourinho in 2015.

Jose Mourinho, second right, and Eden Hazard, second left, still enjoy a warm relationship (Stephen Pond/PA)
Jose Mourinho, second right, and Eden Hazard, second left, still enjoy a warm relationship (Stephen Pond/PA)

By Eleanor Crooks, Press Association Sport

Jose Mourinho believes Eden Hazard’s form bodes well for Chelsea’s Premier League title challenge.

The Belgian has once again been Chelsea’s star player in the league over the first two months of the season, and United head to Stamford Bridge with their opponents locked together with Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the table.

Mourinho said: “The results speak by themselves. Obviously they are not playing Champions League, and that puts (their focus) just on the Premier League.

“Very good results, top of the league and of course lots of good players, but history says that when Eden Hazard is the best player in the Premier League, Chelsea is the champion.

“Happened with me, happened with Antonio (Conte). The season is still in the beginning of course but, if he is the best player of the Premier League until now, which I think he is, Chelsea is top of the league because he’s the kind of player who can make a huge difference.”

In an interview last weekend with a Belgian newspaper, Hazard named Mourinho as the one manager he would like to work with again.

Mourinho welcomed the sentiment – but is not about to get his hopes up.

“I would love to have him in Manchester United but I don’t think Chelsea will sell him to Manchester United so it’s a non-problem because Chelsea are led by intelligent and experienced people in football and I think they would never sell Eden to Manchester United,” the United boss said.

“He’s a nice kid, we had a good relationship, we were champions together. He was for the first time the best player of the Premier League with me, so I think the feelings are good.”

United go into the clash sitting seven points adrift of Chelsea but at least they have positive feelings from their last match two weeks ago when they recovered from two goals down to beat Newcastle 3-2.

The comeback saw a gung-ho United that many fans have been crying out for, but Mourinho insisted he is trying to get his team playing attacking football all the time.

“We try,” he said. “The key is for the players to be able to do it.”

PA Media

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