After an exceedingly exciting weekend in the Premier League, only Chelsea remain as unmatched as Liverpool. But while the ladder faced a tough away match at Wembley, the former enjoyed a day out in the sun at Stamford Bridge tearing Cardiff City apart.
Maurizio Sarri’s front three of Willian and Eden Hazard led by Olivier Giroud all finished the game with success, but it was the Belgian who claimed our Player of the Weekend – finishing with Man of the Match and a tidy hat-trick.
To credit the Bluebirds, they did strike first, and knocked a little urgency into the Blues, but Sarri’s side would not be denied and promptly put Cardiff to the sword.
Perhaps key to Hazard’s success was the introduction of Giroud in the center-forward position, replacing the somewhat accomplished Alvaro Morata. The big French World-Cup winner acted as the provider for two of the comparatively diminutive Belgian’s goals, perhaps showing why he was selected for nearly every game in Didier Deschamp’s run to World Cup glory in Russia.
Olivier Giroud has already matched his goal tally for each of his last two Premier League campaigns in assists, and there will certainly be more to come from him if Sarri continues to give him opportunities.
Eden Hazard slotted home a penalty along with his two other strikes, earning him 16 points in total, the highest earner of matchweek 5. If his manager can keep up the breathtaking, free-flowing football he’s brought with him from Napoli, there’s no reason why Hazard should slow down at all, provided he stays fit.
The Chelsea boss said after the game that Hazard could be considered one of the best in Europe in his position, but now his opinion may be that the Belgian is the best in Europe. Whether that’s the case or not, relieving some of Hazard’s defensive responsibilities has certainly allowed him to flourish in ways which the authoritarian Conte did not.
West Ham host Chelsea on Sunday, and though Everton struggled to cope with the newly-found, razor sharp attack of the Hammers front three, they were able to test Manuel Pellegrini’s back line on several occasions. In theory Hazard starts on the left, taking on 33 year-old Pablo Zabaleta if Pellegrini keeps his starting 11 unchanged – a decidedly unbalanced matchup.
As the big earners begin to reveal themselves this season, we can see no reason why Hazard should not be in your starting lineup, as no one is currently providing like the Blue Belgian.
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