Eden Hazard unfazed by rough treatment in the Premier League

 

Eden Hazard had no fear about becoming a target for English football's hatchet men following his dream Barclays Premier League debut for Chelsea.

Hazard made a stunning start to life in England's top division yesterday with two assists in the first seven minutes of the European champions' 2-0 win at Wigan.

The Latics immediately resorted to desperate measures to stop the £32million man, with captain Gary Caldwell booked for a late challenge on him just four minutes later.

Caldwell's team-mates soon followed suit and Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo decided 64 minutes of punishment was enough for his new playmaker before substituting him at the DW Stadium.

But Belgium star Hazard shrugged off his treatment afterwards, insisting it was no worse than he had suffered playing for Lille or against Manchester City in last weekend's Community Shield.

"I already had a taste of these kind of tackles in the Community Shield," he said.

"I was kicked quite a bit in the first half against Wigan but, in France, it was already like that for me.

"I wasn't aware I was the most fouled player in the match, I wasn't counting them.

"At the start of the game, you could see the way I play and the most important thing is I'm not injured."

Yet Hazard refused to get carried away with his own contribution, pointing out he did not have the same impact after winning the penalty that put Chelsea 2-0 up.

"There are still a lot of things I can do better," he added.

"I lost a lot of balls in the second half, but I contributed what was asked of me. I was asked to be decisive and I was, with the penalty and an assist."

Hazard was nevertheless pleased with how he slotted in alongside Juan Mata, with both playing just off Fernando Torres.

"I started as the number 10 and then afterwards with Mata, we tried to interchange positions rather than stay in the same place and I think we worked rather well," said Hazard, who was withdrawn for fellow big-money new boy Oscar.

"Oscar has just arrived and we haven't had the time to work together. We have only had one training session so far but, little by little, we should get things to where they should be.

"There are loads of possibilities. Ryan Bertrand was on the left against Wigan and Daniel Sturridge can play there as well and the coach won't hesitate.

"He will just put the best players on the pitch. Our preparation was very good. Physically speaking, I feel impeccable."

Chelsea could yet add Wigan's victor Moses to their array of attacking talent but Branislav Ivanovic declared their squad was already strong enough to challenge on all fronts this season.

Ivanovic, who finished off Hazard's sliderule pass inside two minutes yesterday, said: "We have enough players and quality to cope with all competitions. With hard work, we can make it."

He added: "Do the new players excite everyone? Yes, of course.

"You have to have a big and good enough squad and that is what we have.

"The new players are great. During the pre-season, they have shown they have fantastic quality and we have changed a lot as a team because all of them are so creative.

"They have given us the pace we needed. They are great players and every team needs this kind of quality.

"Eden had a great performance against Wigan and is the type of player we needed in the team. Oscar is great too.

"He has a great view of the game. He is young also and we get something special from him in the creativity department.

"If we want to win, we have to be at the top level in every game and win the difficult games."

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
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

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone