Eden Hazard has fired a warning to their Premier League rivals, comparing the top four race to a “hard war” while insisting Chelsea will go all guns blazing until the end of the campaign.
The Blues beat Fulham 2-1 on Sunday in what was a morale-boosting win for the Stamford Bridge outfit, who have gained ground on their other London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, who drew at Wembley on Saturday.
While remaining at sixth place in the Premier League standings, Maurizio Sarri’s side are now only two points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, only a solitary point behind the Gunners in fifth place, and are also just within five points of third-placed Spurs, while also having a game in hand over both the Red Devils and Unai Emery’s side.
In an interview posted at the club’s official website, Hazard revealed he and his teammates had reflected on the weekend’s results. Furthermore, he compared the race for Champions League spots next season to a “hard war”, before insisting that they are only gunning for victories in their remaining league matches.
“We talked together in the dressing room about Arsenal-Tottenham. Both lost two points. Top four is a hard war, because we’re not only four teams, we’re six teams. Now we have 11 games to play till the end of the season. We’ll try to take the maximum points,” said the Belgian forward.
Sunday’s London derby saw Gonzalo Higuain open the scoring in the 20th minute and while Calum Chambers equalised shortly after, Jorginho restored the Stamford Bridge outfit’s lead just over half an hour into the match before Chelsea held off a determined fight back from Fulham in the second half to cling on to a precious away victory.
“The performance was great and we took three points,” added Hazard.
After they finish hosting Dynamo Kiev in a Europa League last-16 first leg encounter in midweek, Hazard and Co.’s next assignment in the league is against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday. Arsenal and Manchester United, their direct rivals in the top four, play in the same round of fixtures and a victory for Sarri’s men may see them leapfrog one of those sides.