Chelsea hero once sat Man City’s Pablo Zabaleta on his backside with skill

Eden Hazard celebrates for Chelsea in 2014

Eden Hazard’s move to Real Madrid from Chelsea is a reminder that the grass is not always greener.

In 2019, after seven years with the Blues and a game-winning last performance as the London outfit beat Arsenal 4-1 in the Europa League final, Hazard completed his long-awaited move to Real Madrid, a switch that had been on the cards for years.

The Belgium international was billed as the 13-time European champions’ next ‘Galactico’, but it hasn’t quite turned out that way. Complaints about his fitness and several injuries have reduced the 30-year-old to just 54 appearances and five goals for his new club.

He did get his hands on a La Liga title, but while he has struggled at the Santiago Bernabeu, Chelsea have won the Champions League and have evolved into one of the very best teams in Europe.

With little to write home about from his time in Spain, it is best to look back to one of his memorable moments at Stamford Bridge to remember just how good a player he was at his very peak.

Hazard embarrasses Zabaleta

In 2013, Hazard had been with Chelsea for just over a year, having already won the Europa League. He had been one of the most sought-after players in Europe after impressing at Lille, and he was proving to be a fantastic signing for a fee of just £32m.

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Following the return of Jose Mourinho, the Blues found themselves in a title race when they hosted Manchester City, one of their main rivals.

Hazard was at his electric best throughout the 90 minutes, and, with the scores at 1-1 just after half-time, he caused former Argentina international Zabaleta all sorts of problems.

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The now-retired right-back made 333 appearances for the Cityzens and won the Premier League on two occasions, but he has likely been trying to forget that encounter with Hazard since it happened. After a couple of dummies, Zabaleta could not keep up with his opponent’s feet, ending up on his backside before watching the winger scuttle off.

Watch the truly memorable moment below:

Zabaleta has the last laugh

It was a perfect night for Chelsea, who picked up all three points in a 2-1 victory after a last-minute Joe Hart blunder allowed Fernando Torres to score the winner.

In the end, though, Zabaleta would have the last laugh. After a gripping battle at the top with Liverpool, Man City confirmed their status as champions on the final day of the season. Ultimately, Chelsea’s 1-0 victory over the Reds at Anfield towards the end of the campaign proved to be a deciding factor.

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Still, on that October night, Hazard just had too much in his locker for the former Espanyol man – although he wouldn’t be the last defender to be bamboozled by the mercurial talent trademark skill.

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