Eden Hazard determined to end debut season for Chelsea with trophy

The Belgian has enjoyed a strong first season in the Premier League

Eden Hazard is determined to finish an impressive first season at Chelsea with silverware.

The Belgian playmaker has scored 12 goals in 50 games since moving to Stamford Bridge from Lille for a reported fee of £32million last summer.

The 22-year-old has missed just three of Chelsea's games this term - when he was suspended after being sent off in the Capital One Cup semi-final at Swansea following an incident with a ball boy - and has demonstrated his importance in recent weeks.

Hazard scored the decisive goal in the Europa League tie with Sparta Prague, netted in the FA Cup quarter-final at Manchester United as Chelsea forced a replay and scored in the defeat of West Ham which took the Blues to third in the Barclays Premier League.

The results have provided a boost for Chelsea - and interim boss Rafael Benitez - entering the international break.

"It's been a good season for me so far but I could have done better in certain situations," Hazard told chelseafc.com.

"There have been good moments and bad moments, both for me individually and the team, but hopefully we can finish the season strongly.

"We're still on the right track to win both the FA Cup and Europa League, and we'll be doing everything in our power to make sure that happens because big clubs can only be judged to have had a successful season if they win one or, if they're lucky, several, trophies."

It has been a tumultuous season for last season's Champions League winners, who are beginning to come good under Benitez, who was an unpopular successor to Roberto Di Matteo due to his prior association with Liverpool.

Chelsea began the season in contention for seven trophies but became the first holders to be dumped out of the Champions League at the group stages.

The Europa League is the unexpected eighth chance for silverware, of which two remain - in the second-tier European competition and the FA Cup - although United and Rubin Kazan stand in the Blues' way.

Qualification for next season's Champions League is imperative, too, with the Blues in a strong position after leapfrogging Tottenham last weekend and moving to within four points of second-placed Manchester City.

Hazard, whose potential has been lauded by Frank Lampard, added: "It was a big disappointment going out of the Champions League so early, particularly as the same thing happened to me with Lille last season, when we were eliminated at the group stage.

"It's such an important competition and that's why I feel we could have achieved a bit more this season.

"We're on the right path to qualify for next season's tournament, though, and I think if we do we have enough quality players at the club to go a long way in it."

Hazard believes the spring is where he blossoms, which is just as well for Chelsea, who have six games in 16 days following the internationals.

"My confidence is really up at the moment and I feel good in myself," he said.

"It's quite weird because, historically, March always seems to be the best time of the year for me.

"Last year I got player of the month in Ligue 1, and a couple of years ago I won the same award.

"I don't know why but it seems as though things come good for me at this time of the season.

"Being honest, I didn't expect to be playing in every game, but aside from the three I missed through suspension, I have."

Hazard has worked well in partnership with Oscar and Juan Mata, in particular, behind a lone centre forward in what Benitez describes as a second offensive line.

"It's great and it's a real pleasure to play alongside players of that calibre," Hazard said.

"As a young, developing player myself, it's brilliant for me because you learn playing alongside these guys and you develop your own game in the process.

"In terms of players such as John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, you're talking about some of the best players in the world.

"Training alongside those players every day helps you learn all the time. They tell you what you need to know out on the pitch and they instil the qualities which are needed."

PA

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam