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Paper Talk: Chelsea's Coutinho

Chelsea chasing Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho is one of the transfer rumours doing the round in Tuesday's Paper Talk.

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Premier League betting preview

Tuesday sees two games in the Premier League as Tottenham welcome Brighton and Watford take on Southampton. We have two best bets.

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Chelsea misfire in top-four battle

Maurizio Sarri was sent to the stands as Chelsea blew a big chance to stake their Champions League claim by slipping to a 2-2 Premier League draw with Burnley.

Check out today's Paper Talk4

Paper Talk: Lukaku leaving?

Juventus are eyeing Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku with Manchester United happy to listen to offers - get all the latest from today's back pages.

Sergi Canos celebrates his goal against Leeds5

Loss effectively ends Leeds' hopes

Brentford dealt Leeds' hopes of an automatic return to the Premier League a hammer blow with a thrilling 2-0 win at Griffin Park.

Chelsea 2-0 West Ham: Eden Hazard fires Chelsea to third place

Eden Hazard celebrates
Eden Hazard celebrates

Eden Hazard's wonder goal sent Chelsea third in the Premier League as the Blues beat West Ham 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Hazard showed the Chelsea fans what they might be missing next year with a virtuoso opener and late second in the sort of display that could convince Real Madrid to meet Chelsea's reported £100million asking price.

The 28-year-old's current Chelsea deal expires next summer and Madrid are reported to be closing in on his signature, although not without matching the Stamford Bridge hierarchy's valuation.

Hazard moved to 19 goals in all competitions as he eyes the 20 mark for the first time at Chelsea. His 16 league goals leave him top of the pile for combined finishes and assists, with 28.

By the time Hazard applied the finish to his stunning opener, he had ghosted past Declan Rice and Mark Noble, and flummoxed Fabian Balbuena, Angelo Ogbonna and Ryan Fredericks.

At the death, after Chelsea had wasted a succession of chances, up popped Hazard again, drilling home to seal the win.

Hazard's masterful first strike not only lit up the match, it also kept Chelsea in the hunt for that all-important top-four finish.

Maurizio Sarri's men moved two points ahead of fourth-placed Tottenham and three above Arsenal in fifth, albeit having played one more game than their Champions League qualification rivals.

From the moment Ogbonna was booked for taking out the marauding Hazard just eight minutes in, West Ham's rearguard knew they were in for a night of looking over their shoulders.

Blind spots, weaknesses - Hazard sneaked into and scythed through all these and more in another mesmerising performance.

N'Golo Kante drilled over from 20 yards, then flicked inside for Cesar Azpilicueta, only for a heavy touch to deny the captain a shot on goal.

But then, appetisers cleared away, Hazard dished up the sumptuous main course.

Collecting the ball 10 yards inside the West Ham half, he proceeded to elude half of the Hammers' outfield players before rolling home the finish for a goal to grace any stage.

Chelsea should have quickly had the chance to double their advantage, only to be denied what appeared a clear penalty when Marko Arnautovic barged Hazard off his feet.

Hazard's magical night continued, the Belgium star outfoxing three defenders on the turn before whipping across a fine far-post ball to Callum Hudson-Odoi.

The England international saw a rasping shot blocked, while the 18-year-old later drew a smart near-post save from Lukasz Fabianski.

Gonzalo Higuain should then have scored at the death of the half, only for Fredericks to produce a timely block after the Argentinian's neat chest control.

West Ham rallied after the break, Kepa Arrizabalaga saving well from Manuel Lanzini and then Felipe Anderson.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek undercooked a chip when through on goal before whipping wide from 20 yards amid the Blues' riposte.

Aaron Cresswell drilled just wide after Antonion Rudiger's tame header in another West Ham warning.

Ross Barkley could not reach Hudson-Odoi's teasing cross, but still the Hammers pressed, Emerson Palmieri's defensive header thwarting Arnautovic.

Olivier Giroud snatched at a chance too, but then Hazard again showed his team-mates how to finish, book-ending a night that had belonged to him from start to finish.

Chelsea 2-0 West Ham: Opta facts

  • Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 13 home league meetings with West Ham (W9 D4) since a 2-3 loss in September 2002.
  • West Ham have scored just one goal in their last seven away Premier League games (D1 L6), a Mark Noble penalty in a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.
  • Chelsea haven’t lost a home Premier League game on a Monday since December 1994 (2-3 vs Man Utd), winning 12 and drawing three since.
  • Chelsea have lost just one of their last 20 home Premier League matches (W12 D7 L1), a 0-1 defeat to Leicester City in December 2018.
  • Eden Hazard has scored 19 goals in all competitions in 2018-19 – his joint-best tally in a season for Chelsea (level with 2014-15).
  • Hazard has been directly involved in 11 goals in his last 10 Premier League games at Stamford Bridge (6 goals, 5 assists).
  • Hazard has been directly involved in more Premier League goals than any other player this season (16 goals, 12 assists).
  • Ruben Loftus-Cheek has had a hand in four goals in his last three Premier League games for Chelsea (2 goals, 2 assists), after a run of 11 appearances without a goal involvement in the competition.
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Most Read Football

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages
1

Paper Talk: Chelsea's Coutinho

Chelsea chasing Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho is one of the transfer rumours doing the round in Tuesday's Paper Talk.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package2

Premier League betting preview

Tuesday sees two games in the Premier League as Tottenham welcome Brighton and Watford take on Southampton. We have two best bets.

=?UTF-8?Q?Burnley=E2=80=99s_Ashley_Barnes_celebrates?=3

Chelsea misfire in top-four battle

Maurizio Sarri was sent to the stands as Chelsea blew a big chance to stake their Champions League claim by slipping to a 2-2 Premier League draw with Burnley.

Check out today's Paper Talk4

Paper Talk: Lukaku leaving?

Juventus are eyeing Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku with Manchester United happy to listen to offers - get all the latest from today's back pages.

Sergi Canos celebrates his goal against Leeds5

Loss effectively ends Leeds' hopes

Brentford dealt Leeds' hopes of an automatic return to the Premier League a hammer blow with a thrilling 2-0 win at Griffin Park.

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