Although Chelsea didn’t impress in their 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, Hazard’s superb late goal kept them well in the top four hunt as they now sit just four points off third place and have a game in hand over Spurs, Arsenal and Man United.
Speaking to our partners Sky Sports after the game, Hazard revealed that Chelsea are showing togetherness at a key moment in the season.
“This type of game, maybe three months ago, we lose the game,” Hazard said. “It is a good point for us. Now we have a hard game away against Everton and we need to win. The spirit is good. We saw one month ago after City, at home against Tottenham. The game when we lost 6-0 [against Manchester City, when mood changed]. I think we had a click and we said we have to do it together – we still have three or four months to play and we want to finish in the top four. That is the main target for the club.”
What are Chelsea’s chances of finishing in the top four? 50/50 at this point.
They have to play both Man United and Liverpool in their final nine games of the season and have some tough away games to negotiate at Everton and Leicester. Out of the top four contenders, Arsenal have the easiest remaining schedule, on paper. Chelsea may have a better chance of qualifying for the Champions League by winning the UEFA Europa League this season.
Maurizio Sarri was annoyed with the way his team played against Wolves, but he can be far from angry with Hazard who has kept plugging away in either a false nine role or in his natural position this season.
Even if his future at Chelsea remains uncertain with just over 12 months left on his current contract, Hazard is digging deep for the west London club. Whether or not he will be able to leave for Real Madrid remains to be seen, as the Premier League club have been hit with a transfer ban and their appeal has so far been brushed aside by FIFA.
We all know how important Hazard is to Chelsea, and his 13 goals and 11 assists have been vital in keeping them in the top four race. He’s led the Blues to Premier League titles and other trophies in the past, but leading this disjointed side to a top four finish under Sarri may be his finest achievement in a Chelsea shirt.