Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

No Hazard, no problem as Chelsea hit Burnley for four

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri believes his side has proved they can cope without Eden Hazard, although he doesn’t want to be missing the Belgian much longer.

The Premier League’s joint top scorer sat out Sunday’s comfortable 4-0 win at Burnley, which pushed the Londoners up to second in the Premier League, two points behind leaders Liverpool, thanks to an unbeaten 10-game start to the season.

Hazard is set to miss a third consecutive game when Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer Frank Lampard brings his Derby County side to Stamford Bridge in the League Cup in midweek after missing Thursday’s 3-1 win over BATE Borisov in the Europa League.

However, Sarri hopes he will have recovered from a back problem suffered in a 2-2 draw with Manchester United in time to feature at home to Crystal Palace next weekend.

In Hazard’s absence, Alvaro Morata opened the scoring with a much-needed goal for the Spanish striker before Ross Barkley, Willian and Ruben Loftus-Cheek chipped in with goals from midfield after half-time.

“Of course I want Eden to play in every match for us if it’s possible,” said Sarri.

“We have a lot of very good players here at the club, but he is something different.”

Sarri added: “I’m very happy because the team was able to score seven goals in two matches without him, but I want him back as soon as possible. I don’t know if he’ll be back and available for Wednesday, but I hope he is for Sunday.”

England international Barkley scored for the third straight Premier League game, while Loftus-Cheek followed up his impressive hat-trick against BATE with another goal.

“Ross is doing very well. He’s improved in the defensive phase and he’s improved very much in his physical condition because last season was difficult for him with a very serious injury,” added Sarri.

“He is a very good player from a technical point of view. He’s a complete player.”

Despite a dominant performance over a struggling Burnley, to bring up an impressive record of 10 wins and three draws in his opening 13 games in charge, Sarri is still striving for more.

“I’m not sure if this was our most complete performance of the season.

“We were in trouble for the first 10 minutes because Burnley started very aggressively and we were in trouble. Then we started to move the ball very well and we also defended better than in the last three matches so we’re very happy with the result.”

Burnley are three points above the relegation zone after their heaviest home defeat under Sean Dyche.

The Clarets boss, who has been in charge for six years, has now seen his side concede nine goals in the last two games after a 5-0 thrashing at Manchester City last weekend.

“It’s tough that we’ve played two teams on such unbelievable runs of form back to back,” said Dyche.

“We started off well, but we were punished for mistakes, and you can only marvel at the volumes of money Chelsea has spent on their squad.

“They were able to bring two World Cup-winners off the bench. From the stand it might not look too hard to face them, but let me assure you that it is.”

© Agence France-Presse

Vote for an informed choice

We’re dropping the paywall this week so that everyone can access all our stories for free, and get the information they need in the run up to the local government elections. For the latest updates and political analysis, sign up to our daily elections newsletter.

If our coverage helps inform your decision, cast your vote for an informed public and join our subscriber community. Right now, a full year’s access is just R510, half the usual cost. Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Elections 2021: Where will fed-up voters make their mark?

Trust in big political parties is dwindling but that’s not necessarily a win for everybody else

Climate crisis causes meltdown of Africa’s three mountain glaciers

Mount Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro and the Rwenzori mountains are all retreating faster than the global mean

The bins get emptied ahead of voting day, but will...

The Tembisa 10 may be a figment of somebody’s imagination, but Eskom’s Misery Twins are not

Local government elections: Why it’s rational to vote with your...

Voting tactically may seem like a realistic, mature option, but it compromises the integrity of your vote and is corrosive to the long-term health of democracy

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…