Eden Hazard's panenka penalty against Newcastle had an extra special meaning

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Eden Hazard's Panenka penalty against Newcastle has attracted a lot of attention for being a tribute to the former Czech midfielder who created it.

Panenka's will always grab people's attention for the sheer audacity of it - it's the ultimate sign of composure and cool in football.

People will rave about a player whenever they pull it off, and people still talk about Andrea Pirlo's famous effort at EURO 2012 that made Joe Hart look like a bit of a tit.

Hazard certainly has that "cool" factor down, and the Belgian attempting and pulling off a Panenka is hardly a shock, but people quickly noticed that his penalty against Newcastle had a little extra tribute to it - it's Antonín Panenka's birthday today.

The Czech famously won EURO '76 with a delicately chipped penalty the final shoot-out against West Germany, introducing the skill to the world and forever subduing goalkeepers to the embarrassment.

Every Panenka is a tribute in itself, but doing it on the man's birthday? That's the ultimate.

Now, obviously, we don't know if Hazard did it deliberately to honour Panenka on his birthday - as undeniably fantastic as it would be if he did.

He's more than earned the benefit of the doubt with the way he's playing though, tearing the league up in recent weeks and being labelled the best in the league. If he's doing that as well as keeping up with the birthdays of Czech football legends, he's definitely as good as everyone is saying.

Hazard's penalty was his second of the game against Newcastle, having already bounced an equaliser in over the head of Karl Darlow in the first half. Chelsea went on to win 3-1, coming from behind after a Dwight Gayle goal had put Newcastle in front.

The win brings Chelsea level with Man United in second, at least temporarily.

Eden Hazard
Premier League
Newcastle United

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