After two important successive wins and other fixtures falling their way, Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea find themselves perched at the top of the Premier League table. The teams attacking force and structured defence combined together to produce a flawless performance vs. Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge. Their key man for the season, Eden Hazard, found himself yet again being the star performer and provided himself with more evidence to the manager as to why he should be the first name on the team sheet.
Goals, Goals, Goals
Chelsea’s top scorer, midfield man, Eden Hazard caused the Newcastle defence problems all afternoon. In the Belgian’s 24th start in the league this campaign, he scored all 3 goals in the 3-0 victory. His acceleration and the fact that on an attack Eden appears to do everything at full pace and 100mph, often provided him chances to shoot on goal throughout the 85 minutes he played, totalling at 6 shots 4 of which were on target meaning a 67% shooting accuracy was achieved compared to a season average of 64%.
Impressively a 50% chance conversion was also achieved. Managing to maintain a high conversion rate whilst attempting so many shots demonstrates how world-class he actually is. His first of the three came from a one-two with Ivanovic after Hazard picked the ball up centrally played it out to the right and ran straight onto Ivanovic’s return ball to hit first time past the keeper. His second goal illustrated the drive mentioned earlier combined with elements of his first goal, after this time he picked the ball up on the left hand side and ran towards the box at the defenders showing no signs of fear, he then darted the ball into Eto’o’s feet where a brilliant heel flick ran the ball into Hazards path yet again for him to slot into the bottom corner. Frank Lampard is the man whom provided Hazard the opportunity to complete his hat-trick as a penalty was given after a silly mistake by Yanga M’biwa . The penalty was converted with Hazard casually stroking the dead ball into bottom corner whilst confusing Tim Krul once again emphasising that Eden Hazard is a man oozing with confidence.
Something which has been hyped up, is Eden Hazards work rate and willingness for the team, hence his selection over Juan Mata, and yet again Hazard has been proving the critics right as he managed to win possession back in every third of the pitch. Providing a picture in his head before even receiving the ball has allowed Hazard to be that one step ahead and this leads to the production of having an 82% open play pass completion (36/44).
For a player who was positioned left wing amongst the line up, managing to play 23% of his passes to the left clearly creates an image to Chelsea fans how well their midfield attacking 3 have become at being able to adapt to rotation and this rotation and overlapping causes an easy breakdown in communication and therefore gaps become apparent within the opposition. The number 17’s vision is one of many things that make him so unique in the premier league, a strength that helps him to get out of many difficult situations.
Hazard’s Season So Far
Hazard has certainly been one of the players of the season and the stats below speak for themselves. He’s been the 2nd most creative player in the league with only David Silva ahead of him creating a chance every 33.84 minutes whilst creating 5 goals and 7 clear-cut chances for his team mates.
One of the reasons why Hazard will be named as one of the contenders for player of the year is because he is one of the rare players in the league that can create and score goals. He’s joint fourth in the top scorers list this season with 12 Premier League goals to his name and he’s scoring every 175 minutes for Chelsea in the league.
Sustaining this form for Chelsea will ensure Hazard will achieve many great things not only at a club level but on an individual level, the 23 year old now has the chance to become a Premier League great with age on his side and peak yet to come, in the future you may hear his name amongst the likes of Ronaldo.