Superb Hazard Sends Chelses Third  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 2 West Ham United 0

Eden HazardEden Hazard scored twice, including a contender for goal of the season, to give Chelsea a vital 2-0 win over West Ham to move up to third in the Premier League.

Hazard showed superb skill to get past three West Ham players before lashing home (24), and got another with a cute touch and finish late on (90) to wrap up the points.

West Ham had their share of chances to equalise in the second half, but the result means Chelsea have a three-point cushion over Arsenal in fifth, although they have played a game more. West Ham stay 11th, five points off the top seven.

Chelsea dominated the ball in the opening period, but had to wait until the 24th minute to cut West Ham open thanks to some Hazard brilliance, hours after it was reported on Sky Sports News that Real Madrid were increasingly confident of signing the Belgian in the summer.

Player ratings

Chelsea: Kepa (7), Azpilicueta (7), Rudiger (8), Luiz (8), Emerson (6), Jorginho (6), Kante (7), Loftus-Cheek (7), Hudson-Odoi (7), Hazard (9), Higuain (7)

Subs: Barkley (7), Giroud (NA), Pedro (NA)

West Ham: Fabianski (6), Fredericks (6), Balbuena (5), Ogbonna (5), Cresswell (5), Noble (6), Rice (5), Anderson (5), Arnautovic (5), Lanzini (5), Chicharito (4)

Subs: Snodgrass (6), Obiang (5)

Man of the match: Eden Hazard

Picking up the ball on the turn 45 yards out, Hazard took on Mark Noble and slalomed past Angelo Ogbonna and Fabian Balbuena with a fine piece of skill before poking past Lukasz Fabianski with his left foot from 15 yards.

Moments later, Hazard nearly set up Gonzalo Higuain for a second as the Argentinian hit the post from an angle, and he was then denied by Ryan Fredericks' superb block after the striker had controlled and shot from close range.

Hazard was running the show, and had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down after Marko Arnautovic looked to have barged him to the ground.

Team news

Hudson-Odoi retained his place in the Chelsea starting line-up, only his second Premier League start for the club. Loftus-Cheek also started again, just his third in the top flight this season, while Chelsea made tow changes. Rudiger came in for Christensen, and Higuain replaced Olivier Giroud, who was on the bench.

West Ham made five changes after the 2-0 defeat by Everton last weekend. Pablo Zabaleta, Issa Diop, Robert Snodgrass, Pedro Obiang and Lucas Perez came out, replaced by Ryan Fredericks, Fabian Balbuena, Felipe Anderson, Chicharito and Mark Noble, who missed the last game due to the death of his grandmother.

The game opened up after the break as Manuel Lanzini forced a smart save from Kepa Arrizabalaga, while Aaron Cresswell struck just wide from range on the half volley with West Ham pushing hard for a leveller.

Barkley was then inches away from converting Callum Hudson-Odoi's centre across the face of goal, and at the other end Emerson produced a vital block as Arnautovic looked to head home sub Robert Snodgrass' wicked cross.

It was not entirely comfortable for Chelsea, but they got their two-goal cushion in the last minute as Hazard took down Barkley's cross 10 yards out, before finding the bottom left corner past Fabianski on the half volley.

Opta stats

Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 13 home league meetings with West Ham (W9 D4) since a 2-3 loss in September 2002.

West Ham have scored just one goal in their last seven away Premier League games (D1 L6), a Mark Noble penalty in a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.

Chelsea have lost just one of their last 20 home Premier League matches (W12 D7 L1), a 0-1 defeat to Leicester City in December 2018.

Hazard has scored 19 goals in all competitions in 2018/19 - his joint-best tally in a season for Chelsea (level with 2014/15).

Hazard has been directly involved in 11 goals in his last 10 Premier League games at Stamford Bridge (6 goals, 5 assists).

Hazard has been directly involved in more Premier League goals than any other player this season (16 goals, 12 assists).

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has had a hand in four goals in his last three Premier League games for Chelsea (2 goals, 2 assists), after a run of 11 appearances without a goal involvement in the competition.

Man of the match - Eden Hazard

Not much of an argument here. On the day his future was questioned again, the Belgian completely ran the show.

What's next?

Chelsea now go to Slavia Prague on Thursday for their Europa League quarter-final, first leg, before travelling to Anfield to face Liverpool on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 4pm; Kick-off is at 4.30pm. West Ham go to Manchester United on Saturday in the Premier League at 5.30pm.

Click Here For Official Team Sheet 


Chelsea Kepa, Azpilicueta (c) Rudiger, Luiz, Emerson, Kante, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek (Barkley 70), Hudson-Odoi (Pedro 85), Hazard, Higuain (Giroud 76)
Subs Not Used Caballero, Christensen, Kovacic, Willian
Booked Azpilicueta, Kepa
Goals Hazard 24, 90

West Ham United Fabianski, Fredericks, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Rice, Noble (c) (Obiang 70), Arnatonic, Anderson, Lanzini, Chicharito (Snodgrass 46)
Subs Not Used Adrian, Diop, Masuaku, Nasri, Perez
Booked Ogbonna

Attendance 40,537

Referee Christopher Kavanagh

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