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Hazard: Revelling in the rivalry

In the wake of a dramatic London derby last night Eden Hazard spoke about his goal, a cracking Stamford Bridge atmosphere, and the new Premier League champions…

Introduced at half-time with Chelsea trailing by two goals and with our proud unbeaten home record against Tottenham in serious jeopardy, Eden Hazard produced probably his best 45 minutes of the season culminating in that stunning late equaliser.

The Belgian has, by his own admission, struggled to replicate his scintillating form of seasons gone by this campaign, but he was happy to make a telling contribution on the big stage last night.  

‘It feels like a victory,’ he said.

‘There was a great atmosphere. We know Tottenham haven’t won at Stamford Bridge for many years so it’s good for us the players, and for the fans too. We know how important it is for them that we win derby games, or at least don’t lose them.

‘I like matches like that when they’re very hard and there is so much rivalry between the two teams. It allows me to find my best form. It’s football at its best.

‘Recently I have rediscovered the pleasure to play,’ Hazard added. ‘When you’re injured it’s hard to get that pleasure back. I played 45 minutes and I gave my maximum.

‘It’s been a complicated season for Chelsea and for me. It hasn’t been like last season but we have three matches left and we want to finish well by winning all three.’

Hazard’s goal, his first in the league at Stamford Bridge since the title-clinching victory over Crystal Palace last May, was sumptuously struck and befitting of the occasion.

‘I went past a couple of players and gave it to Diego. He did a great turn and passed it back to me perfectly. I was in the right position to shoot and…voila!’

The result confirmed the destination of this season’s title and the man who played such a pivotal role in our triumph last season also paid tribute to the new champions, Leicester City.

‘Congratulations to them, they deserve it. It’s footballing history. We had something similar at Lille a few years ago when we weren’t the favourites but we won the title.

‘It’s something beautiful for the world of football when a smaller team does something like that. Next season I hope we can have a better season and get the title back.’

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