Bournemouth 1 Chelsea 4
Eden Hazard has revealed Chelsea are desperate to stop rivals Tottenham winning the Premier League title.
Following Saturday’s easy win at Bournemouth, interim manager Guus Hiddink assured Chelsea fans the Blues would do “everything in our power” to beat Tottenham on Monday, May 2, at Stamford Bridge.
But Belgium playmaker Hazard took that sentiment several stages further, admitting Chelsea will go out of their way to deny Spurs league glory and help Leicester seal their first top-flight silverware.
“We don’t want Tottenham to win the Premier League, the fans, the club and the players,” Hazard told Chelsea’s official club website.
“In football you never know, we hope for Leicester because they deserve to be champions but we will see.
“We have a big game next week against Tottenham and if we can beat them it will be good.”
Hazard struck twice — his first Premier League goals this term — and Pedro and Willian found the net too, as Chelsea eased to victory on the south coast.
Chelsea’s fans chanted “We better beat f***ing Tottenham” as the Blues eased to victory in Dorset — and boss Hiddink has vowed his players will not ease up at the end of a disappointing campaign.
“We’ll play the next game to win, and the next game is Tottenham,” said Hiddink.
“At the end, the strongest team will win the league. And the strongest team is who deserves the league as well.
“We’ve got nothing at stake really and we talked about that in the week.
“But we don’t want the season to fade away — that’s what we don’t want. And the players responded very well.
“Then of course we go into the next few games where nothing effectively is at stake for us either.
“But if you play the way we played today then it’s a guarantee that the team will do everything in our power to go for the win.
“In terms of attitude they will do everything until the end of the season, and of course, you know our schedule — and the next game is Tottenham.”
Chelsea also face Leicester — in the final game of the campaign — when their performance will come under close scrutiny after a succession of players expressed their preference for the Foxes as title winners.
Hiddink was particularly pleased with Hazard’s performance on his return from hip and groin trouble.
“We worked with Eden Hazard the last 10 days with the group and he enjoyed the game.
“We thought he would get 45 minutes, but he was enjoying it so much he could complete the game.
“That’s a good sign of the spirit of the team.”
On Saturday, Bournemouth wasted a hatful of first-half chances in failing to exploit John Obi Mikel’s presence as a makeshift centre-back in Chelsea’s depleted defence.
Boss Eddie Howe admitted his players are still learning “harsh lessons” about life in the Premier League despite their impressive debut top-flight campaign.
“I thought it was a really even game, especially in the first half where I thought we were terrific,” said Howe.
“The difference between the teams was how they finished their goals.
“We created enough chances in the first half but didn’t have that clinical edge that they did.
“We’re learning some harsh lessons and they will help us come out of it a better team.”
BOURNEMOUTH: Boruc, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, Stanislas (Ritchie 78), Surman, Gosling, Pugh, Grabban (Afobe 63), King (Wilson 63).
Subs not used: MacDonald, Federici, Wiggins, O’Kane
CHELSEA: Begovic, Azpilicueta, Mikel, Ivanovic, Baba, Matic, Fabregas, Pedro, Willian (Loftus-Cheek 83), Hazard, Costa.
Subs not used:Falcao, Alexandre Pato, Traore, Kenedy, Miazga, Amelia.
Referee: Roger East
Here’s a little extra sport. Watch the latest BallTalk for the best sports chat and analysis: Premier League Player of the season
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved