Hazard’s Hat-trick Ensures Chelsea Maintain Impeccable Start

Eden Hazard’s hat-trick in Chelsea’s 4-1 defeat of Cardiff City has seen the side climb to the top of the Premier League ladder, after maintaining their impeccable start to the season with their fifth consecutive win.

Cardiff took the lead in the 16th minute through Sol Bamba’s volley, but it was Hazard’s hat-trick, made up of two first half goals in the 37th and a second-half penalty, before Brazilian substitute Willian’s late fourth, that ensured Chelsea swept Cardiff aside.

The Belgium forward had been linked with Real Madrid over the summer after the Spanish giants lost talisman Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus and were making a big-money move to recruit Hazard as his replacement.

“I’m always happy when I play football,” he told Match of the Day host Gary Lineker after the match.

“After the World Cup I spoke, now I’m still with Chelsea.

“I just try to give everything for this club. This club gave me a lot so when I’m on the pitch I try to do my best.”

The 27-year-old has notched seven goals and two assists in his last five games, with Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri suggesting that the Hazard may be the finest player on the continent.

The Blues are keen to tie Hazard down to a new long-term contract worth a reported £300,000-a-week with just two years remaining on his current terms.

He added: “I’m fresh. I took three weeks off after the World Cup. I think for me, it was enough, so we start the pre-season later.

“I’m good when I’m playing football. Sometimes I’m tired but on the pitch I try to give everything and at the moment we’re doing well so it’s a pleasure to play.”

Chelsea kickstart their European campaign with a trip to Greece to face PAOK on Thursday before returning to domestic action against London rivals West Ham next Sunday.