Eden Hazard stole the show at Stamford Bridge on Monday night with two goals to beat West Ham, the first an unbelievable solo effort, but three Premier League points were more important as the Blues moved up to third.
The Belgian was understandably the subject of much admiration after the game and there were words of praise from Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who hailed the impact of his terrific team-mate.
‘He’s one of the best in the world for sure,’ the England midfielder said. ‘I’m just lucky to play with him and learn from him as much as I can because when you’ve got him in your team, it’s a big bonus. He can score goals like that from nowhere all by himself.’
Hazard’s opener was one of his best in a Chelsea shirt but it took until the final minute of normal time for our victory to be secured, despite numerous chances coming and going in the hour between the two strikes. N’Golo Kante had a few of those opportunities, denied by Lukasz Fabianski on more than one occasion, and the Frenchman admitted the team needed a more ruthless streak in front of goal.
‘It was an important win for us and for the fans,’ the 28-year-old said afterwards. ‘I think we played a good game and we won three important points.
‘We need to score the chances we have because as we saw in the second half, they had some chances and could have scored. In the future, I hope we can take our opportunities to win the game without stress.’
Loftus-Cheek started consecutive Chelsea games for the first time in three years and admitted his troublesome back injury was currently being managed well. With just five domestic games of the season remaining, he also called for our winning momentum to continue beyond its current three-game run.
‘My back feels good so I’m really happy with that and it’s two games in a row for me for the first time in a while. I know physically that I’m not going to be at my peak condition right now but I’m doing my best and I think that will come with the more games I play.
‘It was a massive game to win tonight. It takes us third in the table and puts us right in the mix. We know it’s close up there so nothing is set yet but we have to keep winning.
‘We’ve been working hard all season and now you’re starting to see some really good football on the pitch. The combinations we were playing to get out from the back were really good and the only thing missing was more goals. We had a lot of chances but thankfully Eden scored twice.’