Eden Hazard: Chelsea happy to be in Liverpool Manchester City’s shadow

ESPN FC’s Steve Nicol and Alexis Nunes break down Saturday’s results from the fourth week of the Premier League season.
Chelsea’s Maurizio Sarri has hailed Marcos Alonso as the best left back in Europe but he must improve his defensively to be the best in the world.
Chelsea didn’t get their first goal until halfway through the second period but in the end remain perfect in the Premier League heading into the international break.

Eden Hazard has said Chelsea are happy to be “in the shadow” of Premier League title favourites Manchester City and Liverpool as they build momentum under Maurizio Sarri.

Chelsea made it four wins from four games to start the new season as Hazard scored in a 2-0 victory over Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, and sit level at the top of the table with Liverpool and Watford.

Sarri has been reluctant to indulge any talk of a possible Chelsea title challenge so early in the season, but after the Bournemouth win, Hazard said the players are aiming to be champions this season — and he believes the attention focused on City and Liverpool could be to their advantage.

“That’s good,” he said when asked about City and Liverpool being talked about as title frontrunners. “For us we are a little bit in the shadow. So we just try to do our job, win games and then we see.

“Of course I believe [Chelsea can challenge], especially in the Premier League you never know what will happen. They can drop points we can win points. I think in a couple of weeks we are playing Liverpool [at Stamford Bridge], a massive game. Last year we won 1-0 so we need to repeat this.”

Hazard has made an impressive start to the new season, registering two goals and two assists in four Premier League appearances despite only starting twice, and he has already made it clear that he is enjoying himself in Sarri’s more expansive, possession-oriented 4-3-3 system.

All the early signs are that Chelsea are set for a strong season, but Hazard warned that how they deal with adversity will be key.

“He just wants us to play football,” Hazard said of Sarri. “We have good players to play football so at the moment we are enjoying games but we see a strong team when we are losing games.

“At the moment we are not losing games so it is easy to say we are good, we are beautiful but if we lose games then we need to stay together and be better.”