Eden Hazard scored two goals as Chelsea beat West Ham 2-0 at Stamford Bridge to go up to third on the Premier League standings.
Hazard opened the scoring in spectacular style as he gathered the ball in the midfield before skipping past half the West Ham team to then slot the ball into the bottom right corner to bring Stamford Bridge off their seats.
— rishabh sharma (@R1shabhSharma) April 8, 2019
Chelsea didn’t take the foot off the pedal as the continued to apply West Ham who struggled to find any sort of rhythm until an extended period of possession 10 minutes before half time.
This didn’t last very long and Chelsea were soon back in charge as they strung several passes together in great fashion to get the West Ham defence working hard. Callum Hudson-Odoi tested Lucas Fabianski in the 40th minute as the 18-year-old ran onto a brilliant ball before firing away a shot which saw Fabianski turn it behind for a corner.
A few minutes before halftime, N’Golo Kante picked out Gonzalo Higuaín with a great cross but the Argentine chose to try control it with his chest before his shot was deflected wide.
West Ham had a great chance early in the second half as a good run from Marko Arnautović saw him pull the ball back for Manuel Lanzini who fired a shot away which Kepa Arrizabalaga managed to parry out.
Aaron Cresswell came within inches of an equalizer as the fullback hit a fierce volley that almost bent into the right hand netting.
With West Ham pushing so far up the pitch, the left themselves vulnerable from the counter and some poor marking saw Ross Barkley pick out Hazard who took a touch before firing in his second of the evening in th e 90th minute to seal the victory for the Blues.
Speaking about his perfromance, Hazard described his first goal as ‘something special’.
“It’s something special, you know I take the ball and then when I see I can go forward I try to go forward and then when I’m in the box it’s hard for a defender to challenge me because if they touch it could be a penalty” Hazard said in the post match conference. “I think I’m a bit lucky in the end when I shoot but it was a good goal to be fair.”
The bemused West Hams chanted “He’s off to madrid” throughout the night, taunted the fans amid speculations that Hazard is Zinedine Zidane’s primary target in the summer as he looks to rebuild his squad.
Hazard denied these rumours when quizzed about the charts.
“They [West Ham] are wrong. Now I am just focused on Chelsea. I just want to finish top four, Europa League, we still have a lot to do and then we’ll see”.
Chelsea re next in action on Thursday as they face off against Slavia Praha in he first league of their Europa League quarter-final before they travel to Anfield to face Liverpool on Sunday.