Eden Hazard and Marcos Alonso have been key figures for the Blues this season, and the left-sided duo are hoping to have a positive impact on tonight’s Premier League game against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge.
Hazard, scorer of the only goal when we won the corresponding fixture at the Vitality Stadium in October, has been discussing his on-pitch relationship with Alonso, and the Belgian says they are constantly attempting to find different ways of hurting the opposition.
‘I think we understand each other very well,’ said the forward. ‘He knows I like to have the ball when I go inside, more than outside. When Marcos overlaps, he does it well and we try to find solutions, not just with him but also the striker, because I think other teams now know that we play together so they try to stop this.
‘Marcos has a fantastic left foot, he scores a lot of goals and he runs a lot. He’s a great player with a good mentality.’
Alonso scored his seventh goal of the season against Newcastle on Sunday, and third strike direct from a free-kick, with his sweetly-struck curler giving goalkeeper Karl Darlow no chance.
The Spaniard scored his first free-kick for Chelsea against tonight’s opponents last April, and he spoke about the goal against the Magpies at the weekend, as well as his ability to provide a goalscoring threat.
‘I have to set the ball first,’ he said, when asked if he knows what type of strike he will attempt to produce as soon as a free-kick is awarded.
‘I spoke to the referee and told him to put the wall back the right distance, because against Arsenal the wall was five metres away and there is no way you can put a free-kick in, but if the wall is right you have the space to put it over the wall, and it went in.
‘The gaffer always wants bodies in the box so if I can get there and then get back to defend, I obviously try to be in a position where I can score in order to help the team. We only have one striker and then two players playing in between. If we need people in the box and I see I can get there, I try.'
Hazard was full of praise for his team-mate’s ability from free-kicks, saying: ‘To be fair he’s one of the best. I remember two years ago Willian was scoring a lot of free-kicks, and in the past we had people like Lamps and Didier as well.
‘With Marcos, he has something special with the left foot and it’s good to watch his free-kicks.’
Having scored five goals in his past four Premier League meetings with the Cherries, Chelsea supporters will be hoping Hazard can cause the visitors problems once again tonight as we look to maintain the pressure on those teams above us in the table.
The player himself explained why a recent social media post means he will simply be treating tonight’s fixture as a separate game, rather than thinking about previous achievements against Bournemouth.
‘No, no,’ Hazard replied, when asked if he pays much attention to what he has produced in the past against particular opponents.
‘The only time I was thinking about it was before the last game, against Newcastle, because on the Chelsea Instagram page they posted a video of my hat-trick against them three years ago, and then I didn’t score!
‘So maybe I need to stop thinking about this. I just take it game after game, if I score I’m happy, but the most important thing is for us to win.’