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And this is Eden Hazard WITH an injury, apparently...

Monday 6th February 2017
When you think about truly talented, naturally gifted and pure magical footballers playing football today there are very few names that you can mention as World Class, but one tiny Belgian is certainly staking his claim at becoming one of these elite names.

Just when supporters were starting to write off Hazard again as his performances dipped, he comes up with a vintage and magical display against Chelsea's title rivals in a 3-1 victory over Arsenal. He somewhat finished off the fellow London Club with his second goal, which was quite frankly sublime, strong, electric and a thing of pure beauty.

Hazard had seemingly been dipping out of games recently with rumours of interest from Real Madrid putting him off his stride and allowing his head to be turned elsewhere. Others were murmuring that perhaps he was suffering another loss in form like last season under Jose Mourinho.

But in reality, the Belgian International has been carrying a slight injury, similar to what David Luiz has been doing. He's been playing through the pain, which could explain his lacklustre performances in the last couple of games.

But the Eden Hazard that turned up against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge at the weekend, was certainly one who looked nothing like a player playing with any pain. He was hungry, quick, worked hard, battled for everything and produced moments of absolute class.

The way he collected the ball on the halfway line for his goal, dropped in on Francis Coquelin, who certainly isn't the weakest players, throw him to the floor like he was a ragged old children's doll, then proceeded to trick and tease his way into the penalty area to slot a calm finish past his former team-mate Petr Cech, was just world class. There is no other way to describe that moment. Supporters across the globe were in total awe watching that display on Saturday.
There is no doubt that when this guy is in the mood he is simply unstoppable. Can you imagine as a defender even trying to stop him? He doesn't only have skill and pace, but his low centre of gravity and solid strength means he is near impossible to get off the ball at times.

As the most fouled player in the Premier League he will also win you many opportunities to score from set pieces, giving an added extra to a Chelsea side who are full of height and players who are decent in the air.

Chelsea's run-in to the end of season, and their onslaught to the title will depend on Hazard staying fit and in the mood, he is so important for them and a player who will score you a goal from absolutely nothing. If Hazard stays like this, Chelsea will ease to the title this season.

It all seems like a far cry away from the time when Jose Mourinho lost the Chelsea dressing room, particularly Hazard, as a result of the physio incident when Hazard was down injured. Antonio Conte certainly has Hazard on side and into his way of thinking.

I'd also like to note that Hazard plays better when he has his type of thinking players to link up with, such as Pedro. The two work so well together and Hazard loves a quick interchanging of passing with equally intelligent players.
Simon Phillips
Football Writer for the last 7 years, specialising in the English Premier League and covering a wide range of topics.

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