Ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Paris tomorrow night where they face Paris St-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League, Eden Hazard says that the Blues are intent on winning the treble.
Still going strong in three competitions, Chelsea are well placed to pull off the treble triumph. However, they face a tough test at the Parc de Princes in a rematch of last year’s Champions League quarter-final which saw the London club overcome the French giants on away goals.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Hazard said: “We’re top of the league. Of course we would like to do the treble, but there are a lot of great teams in this competition (Champions League) so we’ll see.”
Sitting seven points clear at the top of the Premier League and with a trip to Wembley for the Capital One Cup final on March 1 awaiting the Blues, Hazard is confident in Chelsea’s ability to grab all three accolades but the Belgian recognises the threat that PSG pose to Chelsea’s mission.
Hazard said: “Since I watch Ligue 1, I’ve noticed that PSG are having a bit more trouble this season. But I think they’ll be ready. At this level you can never say in advance who will win.”
Last season’s quarter-final between the two sides was decided on away goals owing to Eden Hazard’s penalty in the first leg in France. That wasn’t the only time that Chelsea had to rely on the 24-year-old last season, but he has noticed that the pressure has been lifted from him this season with the arrival of new players such as Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa.
Hazard said: “I wouldn’t say I was the only one last season, because that would be lacking respect towards others, but it was more down to me whereas now it’s more varied and it comes from me, from a Cesc pass, Willian or Oscar.
“We have players like Fabregas, who has done us an enormous amount of good, Diego can score at any time.”
The Belgian has just signed a new five-and-a-half year deal at Stamford Bridge worth £200,000-a-week, coincidently just before the PSG game who have not been quiet about their interest in the Chelsea star over recent transfer windows. The amount this contract is worth will come as no surprise to Chelsea fans as to them, he is worth every penny as he gotten better and better since arriving in West London in 2012.
He has noticed a change in his game as well as he said: “I’ve gained experience from playing with big names, playing matches at the highest level every weekend. I think that’s helped me a lot. I was always reproached for not being clinical enough, a good player but not clinical. Progressively I’ve taken that on board and I’ve often managed to be clinical in the big games.
“I’m continuing to improve. I’m only 24 and I’ve done some pretty good things in football already. So I hope it continues like this, that we’ll win trophies this year and again next year. We’ll be able to get better every season.”
With a notable improvement on the Chelsea side that we saw this time last year, can the Blues actually do the treble?
Throughout last season Jose Mourinho insisted that his side were not title contenders even though they were still in the race right up to the final day of the season, but it was this season that Mourinho had earmarked for success.
So far it looks like he is going to be proven right again. Chelsea did great business in the summer and January transfer windows bringing in the likes of Fabregas, Costa and Juan Cuadrado which has improved an already strong team.
Chelsea aren’t playing their best football of the season at the moment but still maintain a seven point lead in the Premier League so they’re clearly doing something right. Anything can happen in football but you wouldn’t be wrong for assuming the Premier League trophy is heading to Stamford Bridge for a fourth time.
The Capital One Cup final against Tottenham is a matter of revenge for the Blues after suffering a humiliating 5-3 defeat at White Hart Lane on New Year’s Day. The players and more importantly the fans will want that defeat avenged, with the added bonus of a trophy being up for grabs making it even sweeter.
Chelsea are deservedly the favourites to progress in the Champions League past PSG, but there will be some of the best teams in Europe waiting for them in the next round.
However, they can consider themselves as one of those top teams too, they have a squad any team would desire, and one of, if not the best manager in Europe; so who’s going to stop them?