Belfast Telegraph

Eden Hazard hopes Chelsea can challenge for Premier League title next season

Eden Hazard hopes Chelsea can challenge for the Premier League title next season after striking the decisive goal in the title race for a second successive year.

Hazard's most recent Stamford Bridge goals have secured the last two Premier League titles after his equaliser in Monday night's 2-2 draw with Tottenham.

His goal on May 3, 2015 against Crystal Palace earned Chelsea the title and, one day short of that anniversary, his sublime strike saw Leicester crowned champions as the Blues had a say in the title race despite their woeful defence.

"It's something beautiful for the world of football when a smaller team does something like that," Hazard said on of Leicester's triumph.

"It's been a complicated season for Chelsea and for me. It hasn't been like last season but we have three matches left and we want to finish well by winning all three.

"(And) next season I hope we can have a better season and get the title back."

Spurs needed to end their 26-year wait for victory at Chelsea to have any hope of overhauling the Foxes and were 2-0 ahead at half-time through goals from Harry Kane, with his 25th league goal of the season, and Son Heung-min.

Gary Cahill netted before Hazard, who a week earlier had said he hoped Spurs would not win the title, struck.

Chelsea fans chanted 'Leicester, Leicester' as Spurs folded in a fractious encounter punctuated by indiscipline.

Hazard added: "We know Tottenham haven't won at Stamford Bridge for many years so it's good for us the players, and for the fans too. We know how important it is for them that we win derby games, or at least don't lose them."

John Terry congratulated Leicester and vowed Tottenham would remain without a win at Chelsea as long as he was at the club.

The 35-year-old defender returned from an Achilles injury in what was potentially his penultimate match at Stamford Bridge. Leicester visit on May 15, the final day of the season.

Terry, who is out of contract this summer and is yet to agree an extension, wrote on Instagram: "What a game that was last night. Great character from the players to come back from 2-0 down.

"The atmosphere was incredible and we know how much that result means to you supporters. 27 years #notonmyshift

"Well done @garyjcahill and @hazardeden_10 on two superb finishes.

"Congratulations Leicester City and all their players, Claudio Ranieri who fully deserve the league title this year."

Cahill enjoyed the ferocity of the bad-tempered encounter, the full ramifications of which will follow in the days ahead.

He told the London Evening Standard: "When there is that much at stake, people aren't going to roll over, it's competitive. That's the way it is. We should enjoy the game for what it was.

"I thought the game was fantastic and played at an unbelievable pace.

"It boiled over at times because of what's at stake, they were going for the league.

"The emotion was just there. It's normal to react, but when everything has settled down, when it's calm, it's finished."


From Belfast Telegraph