Chelsea’s lead at the top of the Premier League was reduced to eight points over the weekend, although the Blues remain hot favourites to land a fifth title in the last 12 years.
Antonio Conte’s men could only muster a 1-1 draw away at a very impressive Burnley on Sunday, despite taking an early lead through Pedro, and Manchester City took full advantage by beating Bournemouth 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Monday night.
Nonetheless, it means that, with only 13 games of the season remaining, the Blues are still in a very commanding position, although they do face Pep Guardiola’s men at Stamford Bridge in April, so it’s not a done deal just yet.
Conte’s men have won 19 of their 25 Premier League matches this term, and in the process have netted 52 goals, only Arsenal and Liverpool (both with 54) have found the net more often than the leaders.
Clearly, there have been several excellent performers in the attacking third for Chelsea this season, but who has been their most creative player thus far?
Well, although the likes of Diego Costa and Pedro have scored plenty of goals, and Nemanja Matic has been an attacking threat from the midfield, you won’t be surprised to know that Eden Hazard tops this list.
The Belgian international may have registered less assists than every one of the aforementioned three, but he has created an unprecedented 49 chances this season, only Brazilian forward Willian is close to him with 34.
That equates to an average of 1.9 key passes per game from Hazard, in comparison to Costa’s 1.3, and Matic’s 0.8, while he also tops the list in terms of average dribbles per games, with his tally of 4.6 suggesting that he’s the one takes it upon himself to make things happen for Chelsea.
Hazard is also targeted the most by opposition defenders, given that he is fouled the most (2.9 to Costa’s 2.6), and although he averages less shots per game than the Spaniard (2.2 to Costa’s 3), Hazard has scored ten goals this season, only four shy of the tally from their title-winning campaign in 2014/15.
Clearly, the likes of Costa, Matic, Pedro, and Willian have all been excellent for the Blues this season, but Hazard is the one they look to for that little bit of inspiration, as was proved against Arsenal a few weeks ago, and against Everton last November.
The 26-year-old is having a marvellous season, and is perhaps playing better now than he did back in 2014/15, the year he won the PFA Player of the Year award, and helped Chelsea win the Premier League title.