Chelsea captain John Terry warned they must not rely on Eden Hazard too heavily this season after Monday’s 2-1 win over West Ham.
The Belgium star claimed the man-of-the-match award as his penalty and a late Diego Costa strike guided the hosts to maximum points in Antonio Conte’s opening Premier League game in charge.
Hazard, the inspiration behind Chelsea’s league and League Cup double in 2014-15, scored just six goals in 43 appearances in a difficult campaign last season as they finished 10th and failed to win a trophy.
Terry feels Chelsea are lucky to have a player of Hazard’s calibre, but said they cannot expect the 25-year-old to carry the team.
“He’s up there with the very best in the world for me,” the defender told Sky Sports. “We relied on him too much last season and he can’t do it all on his own even though he almost does.
“He’s a world-class player and we’re very lucky to have him.”
Terry was delighted with the way Chelsea battled back to triumph through Costa’s 89th-minute strike after James Collins’ goal 13 minutes from time looked likely to have earned West Ham a draw.
“It was very important to get off to a good start,” he said. “The way we started and ended last season wasn’t good enough by our own standards.
“We said before the game that whether we won, lost or drew, that was the type of fight and commitment we want from everyone.
“We dug in, it was a big London derby and it means a lot to players and supporters. It was great for the management to get off to a good start, as well.”