Football: Hazard Gem Sparkles In Chelsea's Perfect Start

Football: Hazard gem sparkles in Chelsea's perfect start

LONDON, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 27th August, 2016) - Antonio Conte has won his first four games as Chelsea manager after Eden Hazard's sublime strike inspired a comfortable 3-0 victory over Burnley to leave his side top of the Premier League on Saturday. Former Italy coach Conte needed Diego Costa to score in the closing moments of his first two games in England to secure three points but there was never any need for that kind of late drama at Stamford Bridge this time.

Burnley, newly promoted from the Championship, hadn't won a league game at the Bridge for 45 years and from the moment Hazard scored after only nine minutes Chelsea were in the ascendency. Willian doubled the lead before half-time and the only surprise was that, despite dominating the entire game, Chelsea weren't able to add to that lead until substitute Victor Moses struck in the 89th minute as they produced their first clean sheet of the season.

Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi, who scored twice in Chelsea's EFL Cup victory over Bristol Rovers in midweek, returned to the bench as Diego Costa came back in, Willian was included after recovering from a calf injury and there was no place at all for Cesc Fabregas. The former Arsenal midfielder has not started a league game for the Blues so far this season and was left out of the Spain squad this week, prompting further speculation about his future.

Conte's team selection was not a matter of debate for long, however, because Chelsea went ahead early on with a wonderful goal from a revitalised Hazard. The Belgian picked the ball up in space just inside the Burnley half, ran unchallenged at the away defence and steered an accurate right-foot shot into the opposite corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area. It was Hazard's sixth goal in his last eight Premier League games - and having scored only six in 44 before that it may well be evidence that he is heading back to the kind of form which made him Footballer of the Year in England in 2015.