Sunday, April 23, 2017

Chelsea closing in on the Premier League, says match-winner Hazard

SoccerNews in English Premier League 5 Apr 2017

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Eden Hazard urged Chelsea to stay focused but conceded they are “nearly there” in their quest to become Premier League champions.

Hazard scored both goals in a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge, netting the winner 10 minutes before half-time after Willy Caballero saved his initial penalty.

Antonio Conte’s men appeared set to go 10 points clear until Tottenham completed a stunning late turnaround to beat Swansea City 3-1.

“It’s a big win of course. I don’t know if the way we played was beautiful but the most important thing is to win games,” Hazard told BT Sport after being awarded the man-of-the-match award.

“In the way we play we can do better but after a defeat it is good to come back here and win three points against a great team

“It’s always a real battle when you play against Man City. We were lucky to score the first and then they scored the 1-1.”

Hazard had been kept up to speed with Tottenham’s heroics – Spurs were 1-0 down before Dele Alli started the comeback in the 88th minute – and believes such events should serve to keep Chelsea sharp as they sense the winning line.

“I heard they were losing 1-0 at the end and scored three goals. We have to be ready for everything but have to concentrate on Chelsea and not Tottenham,” he said.

“We are nearly there but there is a long way to go we have some difficult games. We will be ready until the end.”

Hazard’s Belgium team-mate Thibaut Courtois was culpable as Sergio Aguero equalised for City – his poor clearance heading straight to visiting playmaker David Silva.

“Thibaut made some great saves, okay, he made a mistake on the goal but it is not [just] his fault,” Hazard added.

“Everyone is involved in this team. We are lucky to have him in the team.”

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