Where on God’s green Premier League table would Chelsea be if not for Eden Hazard? The Blues’ Belgian stud got them at least two extra points singlehandedly today by taking a machete to West Ham in a 2-0 win, scoring a brace to boost his team up to third place. This was the second game in a row in which Hazard had a hand in two goals, after notching a goal and an assist last week against Brighton, and his 16 total goals and 12 total dimes each double up the next best Chelsea player in those categories.
No one player in Britain has done more to keep his team afloat than Hazard has this year, and he picked up another Herculean highlight in the 24th minute today. Taking the ball from a nonthreatening position about 40 yards out, Hazard proceeded to manufacture a goal simply by weaving through a basketball lineup’s worth of West Ham defenders, scoring a breathtaking opener and short-circuiting announcer Martin Tyler’s brain.
Somehow, that show of skill didn’t immediately sear Hazard into the brains of every West Ham player, because in the 90th minute, while Chelsea were pressing, they left him alone in the box. The natural result of this mistake was a pass from Ross Barkley over to Hazard, and a finish from him that looked too damn easy.
It’s going to suck when Hazard’s wearing Real Madrid whites next season.