Analysis

Maurizio Sarri hails a ‘big’ Chelsea performance and discusses future of top-level Eden Hazard

After watching his Chelsea team win a third straight league game for the first time since the opening weeks of the season, Maurizio Sarri praised his players and in particular the ‘incredible’ Eden Hazard.

West Ham were beaten 2-0 at the Bridge tonight with Hazard netting in each half, his opener an incredible solo effort that took four opponents out of the game.

The Belgian’s performance was undoubtedly the main talking point and Sarri did not hold back in his praise of Hazard, although he was keen to acknowledge it was a group effort that helped us get the better of the Hammers…

‘A big performance from the team,’ was Sarri’s verdict.

‘We played very well in the first half. We were in full control of the match without conceding anything to the opponents. In the second half in the first part we lost the positions with the midfielders, so the match was more open, but then we were very good in the last part.

‘We played a very good match.’

Sarri reflected on Hazard’s spellbinding impact

‘Hazard of course played a wonderful match. He scored an incredible goal. When Hazard is able to play like he did in the last two matches of course it’s easier. We can win against every team.’

Sarri joked when asked if he could take any credit for Hazard’s season, which now includes 19 goals in all competitions, his joint-best return in a Blues shirt

‘Not at all. It’s a compliment to the mother of Hazard!’

Hazard: 'I am just focused with Chelsea until the end of the season'

Sarri was asked if Chelsea could afford to lose Hazard in the summer

‘From a technical point of view, no, not at the moment. It’s impossible to find another Hazard. At the moment there isn’t another Hazard. His level is so high in all the world I think you can find two [other] players like Hazard.

‘He told me he has to decide. I hope Hazard can stay here, otherwise we have to try something different.

‘I am sure the club doesn’t want to sell him, but of course we all have to respect his decision. He is in his last season of contract. If he wants to have another experience we have to respect it. We will try of course in every way to convince him, but it’s not easy.’

Sarri looked forward to a busy few days ahead and a couple of away trips

‘Now we have a very hard week. We have to play in 72 hours in the Europa League, then 72 hours after in Liverpool.

‘Probably now we have 20 players ready to play, unlike three months ago, so for sure we will have to change the starting XI in the Europa League.’

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