Belfast Telegraph

Eden Hazard focus

Eden Hazard was moved up front, with Pedro and Willian on either wing, for Chelsea' 2-0 win over Bournemouth.

Michy Batshuayi was expected to start the game with leading striker Diego Costa suspended, but the 23-year-old striker started the game on the bench, leaving Hazard in a 'false nine' role.

Here, Press Association Sport takes an in-depth look into how the Belgian fared in his new role:


Asked to push up from his usual role in attacking midfield, the 25-year-old quickly looked at home in his new position, linking well with Willian and Pedro and beating Bournemouth defender Steve Cook on a number of occasions. The visitors struggled to contain him and he was allowed to make a number of runs from near the half-way line into the area. Hazard created a number of opportunities with his quick passing and played a key part in the build-up to Chelsea's first goal as his pass to Cesc Fabregas had Bournemouth in trouble and Pedro chipped home.


Hazard had a number of chances early on, but struggled to find the target, with opposition goalkeeper Artur Boruc largely untroubled in the opening half-an-hour. The Belgian's confidence level was evident from the fact he attempted a rabona effort in the first half, which was tipped over the bar by Boruc, but referee Michael Jones had already blown his whistle for a foul on Fabregas. T hree minutes into the second half Hazard won a penalty when he was fouled by Cherries captain Simon Francis and stepped up to score his side's second of the afternoon. The goal was Hazard's 50th for the club and his ninth of the season in all competitions.


Hazard had a fine game, hardly putting a foot wrong. The Belgian was involved in most of his side's attacking moves, his link-up play with the wingers proving often too much for Bournemouth to handle. He got the goal his performance deserved from the spot before coming off in added time to a well-deserved standing ovation.


From Belfast Telegraph