Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

Hazard shines in what appears his Chelsea swansong

The Belgian forward struck twice as Chelsea won the Europa League.

Hazard starred on what appears to be his Chelsea farewell (Bradley Collyer/PA)
Hazard starred on what appears to be his Chelsea farewell (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Eden Hazard stole the show in what is likely to prove his last game for Chelsea before his expected move to Real Madrid this summer.

Here, Press Association Sport examines his man of the match performance in Chelsea’s 4-1 Europa League victory over Arsenal in Baku.

Movement

Hazard’s constant search for work took him right across the attacking spectrum, and even at times into his own half as he sought to jolt Chelsea into life. And that elusive roaming role not only created space for his team-mates, but also forced Arsenal into defensive lapses, of which he took full advantage.

Creativity

bpanews_ce4c9992-3253-4b8c-a5c1-78cf49bdfa45_embedded243201489
Hazard was in prime form (Steven Paston/PA)

Hazard’s slow start mirrored that of Chelsea, but the arch creator quickly found his feet on a stodgy playing surface. Hazard’s crisp pass into Jorginho allowed the Italy midfielder to stub a neat lay-off to Olivier Giroud for Chelsea’s first chance of the match. The France striker’s scuffed effort afforded Petr Cech just enough time to tip the ball to safety though, in a missed chance the Blues were immediately to lament. His fine pass for Pedro laid on the goal that perhaps turned the tie totally in Chelsea’s favour too.

End Product

bpanews_ce4c9992-3253-4b8c-a5c1-78cf49bdfa45_embedded243201408
Hazard netted twice in the final (Adam Davy/PA)

Two goals and an assist is a fine return for a final by any standards, and certainly merited winning this trophy for Chelsea. The 28-year-old almost rolled home his penalty, so confident was his strike from the spot-kick. And then he calmly tucked home after Giroud’s cross, to put the perfect finish on what has proved a sumptuous Chelsea career.

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph