Hazard: Chelsea are nearly there
Eden Hazard believes Chelsea are closing in on the EPL crown as manager Antonio Conte targets six wins in the final eight games to clinch the title.
Hazard scored twice in their 2-1 win over Manchester City yesterday morning (Singapore time) as the Blues bounced back from the defeat by Crystal Palace to maintain a seven-point lead over second-placed Tottenham.
"It is a big win," the Belgian playmaker told BT Sport. "I don't know if the way we played was beautiful but the most important thing is to win games.
"I think the way we played we can do better but, after a defeat, it's good to come back here and win three points.
"We are nearly there but there is a long way to go. We have eight games to play. We want to finish top. That's the target. We have some difficult games but we are ready for everything."
Chelsea showed resilience fighting off City.
Goalkeeping errors contributed to the opening goals as Hazard shot through Willy Caballero and Thibaut Courtois gifted City an equaliser, scored by Sergio Aguero.
Hazard saw a penalty saved by Caballero, but tucked in the follow-up to give Chelsea a 2-1 half-time lead which they would not relinquish.
Chelsea face Bournemouth next and Conte called on Hazard and his teammates to make the season a memorable one.
Conte said: "Tottenham could win eight games. For this reason, to win the title, we need 18 points. I think this is the best way for us (to think).
"(Hazard) is an important player. Also he's growing in his mentality. I think he's playing a really good season.
"We must be focused and try to win six games and take three points (six times). If we are able to do this, we will win the title.
"Otherwise it will be a good season, but not a great season. We will remember this season if we win. Usually I like to say only who wins write the history."
Pep Guardiola, previously in charge at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, had never experienced home and away championship defeats to the same opposition manager in the same season. Now he has.
Guardiola, who believes his side were still better than Chelsea, said: "But it's not enough. They got six points. We got zero. Football is (about) results... The Premier League is gone and in the last eight games, we have to think to qualify for the Champions League." - PA SPORT
Chelsea 2 Man City 1
Swansea 1 Tottenham 3
Liverpool 2 Bournemouth 2
Arsenal 3 West Ham 0
Southampton 3 Crystal Palace 1
Hull City 4 Middlesbrough 2
- Sunday — v Bournemouth (A)
- April 16 — v Man United (A)
- April 26 — v Southampton (H)
- April 30 — v Everton (A)
- May 9 — v Middlesbrough (H)
- May 13 — v West Brom (A)
- May 21 — v Sunderland (H)
- To be arranged — v Watford (H)
- Tomorrow — v Watford (H)
- April 15 — v Bournemouth (H)
- April 27 — v Crystal Palace (A)
- April 30 — v Arsenal (H)
- May 6 — v West Ham (A)
- May 13 — v Man United (H)
- May 21 — v Hull City (A)
- To be arranged — v Leicester (A)
*FA Cup semi-final on April 23
— Chelsea v Tottenham