Eden Hazard proved once again he is a world class talent – but Maurizio Sarri is wasting him as a false 9December 9, 2018
WHAT a strange night for Eden Hazard.
Yes, it ended in a brilliant 2-0 win, three points and two assists for the Belgian – but for 80 minutes against Man City he was little more than a spectator.
Eden Hazard had two assists as Chelsea beat Man City – but he appeared to be a passenger for much of the game[/caption]
Isolated up top in a false 9 role, Hazard watched the first 40minutes on the periphary.
The Blues were knocking balls up to him as if he were a foot bigger and three stone heavier, he had no chance against Aymeric Laporte and John Stones.
In that first period of the game, when City had neartly 70 per cent possession and all of the chances, Hazard must have thought he had somewhere better to be on a Saturday night.
But the the ball finally broke his way and the Chelsea No10 showed exactly why he is considered one of the best attacking talents in world football.
Maurizio Sarri used Hazard as a ‘false 9’ as he does not trust Alvaro Morata or Olivier Giroud[/caption]
As Chelsea broke quickly, the ball made its way to Hazard on the left.
A little shoulder feint and he had created just enough space to fire a perfect pass back into the centre and into the path of N’Golo Kante.
The Frenchman made no mistake, smashing home as if he were Frank Lampard.
It was an all too fleeting glimpse of the talents Hazard possesses and the second half wasn’t exactly more fruitful for him.
Hazard had only 39 touches in the game and cut an isolated figure up top[/caption]
Too often he was an isolated attacker as Chelsea, rightly, dug in against a superior team looking for an equaliser.
There were a couple of touches here and there that showed why Hazard is still the Blues’ main man – and why Real Madrid are still desperate to sign him.
There would be another assist for the Belgian, this time a perfect corner landing right on the head of David Luiz.
Two assists and three points, what’s to complain about?
Chelsea need to sign a new striker as soon as they can to ensure they get the best out of the Belgian[/caption]
Nothing, on the surface, but Hazard will want more.
Hazard prefers playing on the wing, where he can get on the ball and influence a game.
He had only 39 touches in the match – fewer than Pedro (46) and only six more than Willian (33), who played 15 fewer minutes.
Man City forward Raheem Sterling had a massive 73 touches.
Hazard was still able to provide two key moments – a brilliant pass for Kante’s opener and the corner for Luiz’s second[/caption]
It comes down to Chelsea’s lack of strikers.
Maurizio Sarri was forced to play Eden Hazard as a false 9 because of Alvaro Morata’s incredible loss of form and his lack of trust in Olivier Giroud in big games.
The Italian has always claimed he is not a chequebook manager, that he will improve the players he has been given.
But that no longer seems an option.
Chelsea have to buy a striker as soon as they can.
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Morata has lost all confidence and Giroud is not a first-choice striker if a team has ambitions to win the Premier League or in Europe.
In the post-match press conference, Man City manager Pep Guardiola described Eden Hazard as “one of the best players in the world.”
Chelsea need a new striker – not just to replace Morata, but to ensure they get the best out of their best player.