Belfast Telegraph

Eden Hazard enjoying Chelsea life under Maurizio Sarri

Hazard scored his second of the campaign in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Bournemouth which gave Chelsea four wins from four Premier League games.

Eden Hazard is enjoying Chelsea having more possession under Maurizio Sarri and says he is happy at Stamford Bridge – for now.

The 27-year-old playmaker has begun the season in sparkling form and scored his second of the campaign in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Bournemouth which gave Chelsea four wins from four Premier League games.

Hazard was repeatedly linked with Real Madrid in the summer and hinted – after helping Belgium to third place at the World Cup – that his preference was to leave Chelsea.

No move materialised and Hazard, now in his seventh season at Stamford Bridge, is enjoying new head coach Sarri’s style of football.

“I like to have the ball. Not in my own half, but in the last 30 metres,” Hazard told Chelsea TV.

“I like this type of game. It’s completely different than Antonio Conte or (Jose) Mourinho before.

“We have more ball so for me it’s not bad.”

Hazard’s contract expires in 2020 and the offer of an extension has not been taken up so far, but he is showing no signs of unhappiness.

Hazard was a substitute in Chelsea’s first two matches of the season, but was instrumental in the win over Arsenal and then started and scored against Newcastle and the Cherries.

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Eden Hazard has begun the season in fine form with Chelsea and scored against Bournemouth (John Walton/PA)

He understood his slow reintroduction to club football and appears happy just to wait and see on his long-term future.

Asked how he is, Hazard said: “Good. You can see on the pitch.

“Let’s see the future.”

The arrivals of Jorginho, who followed Sarri from Napoli, and Mateo Kovacic, on loan from Real Madrid, have given Chelsea a different dimension, Hazard says.

Hazard added: “It’s not so different (from the past). The big difference is we bring two players – Jorginho and (Mateo) Kovacic – and they are completely different.

“We just try to keep the ball more often and then when we have a chance to score, we need to score.

“But when we have more ball we can be more dangerous.

“We’re playing good football, so we enjoy. I want to keep this momentum.”

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Marcos Alonso has been praised by Maurizio Sarri and Eden Hazard (Victoria Jones/PA)

Sarri lauded Marcos Alonso as the best left-back in Europe after the Bournemouth win and Hazard has a similarly high opinion of the Spaniard.

The Belgian said: “He’s sometimes in front of me. I want to say to him ‘Marcos, sometimes your first target is to defend, because you play left-back’.

“This guy doesn’t want to listen, he just wants to score goals. No problem. He’s doing well.

“We’re lucky to have him in the team. Fantastic.”

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Asmir Begovic is satisfied with Bournemouth’s start to the season (John Walton/PA)

Bournemouth saw their unbeaten start ended, but took confidence from the performance.

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic told AFCBTV: “With a bit of luck I think we could’ve got a result, but it wasn’t meant to be.

“Overall, a pleasing performance. We challenged one of the best teams in the league.

“We kept them at bay for most of the game and we just couldn’t hold out in the end.

“We’ve had a pretty good start over four games. We’ll keep going.

“We just have to kick on now. We’ve got a lot of games coming up and games we need to take points from.”

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