Thursday 21 February 2019

Hazard double saves point for Chelsea

Chelsea 3 Roma 3

Chelsea's Eden Hazard celebrates scoring his side's third goal with Gary Cahill and Marcos Alonso.
Chelsea's Eden Hazard celebrates scoring his side's third goal with Gary Cahill and Marcos Alonso.

Eden Hazard scored twice as Chelsea battled to a 3-3 draw with Roma to stay top of Champions League Group C.

Chelsea had surrendered a two-goal lead to trail 3-2 with 20 minutes remaining after former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko's quick-fire double.

But Hazard headed in to prevent Antonio Conte's side slipping to a third straight loss for the first time under the Italian's stewardship.

Hazard's first goal of the season followed David Luiz's opener but Aleksandar Kolarov halved the deficit before Dzeko's delightful volley and free header within seven second-half minutes. Chelsea were second best, but Hazard headed in Pedro's cross to give the Blues seven points ahead of the trip to the Eternal City on October 31.

David Luiz's deployment in midfield, with N'Golo Kante out injured, provided balance, while striker Alvaro Morata returned from injury, but Roma were better throughout.

Morata spurned an early chance, shooting straight at Alisson. Diego Perotti shot over - one of three efforts by the Roma midfielder in the first half - before Luiz struck against the run of play.

The Brazilian roamed forward and, when his attempted pass to Morata was returned to him off Federico Fazio, he curled the ball in first time from 25 yards.

Thibaut Courtois saved smartly and, soon afterwards, Chelsea doubled their lead.

Hazard fed Morata, whose shot looped up off the outstretched foot of ex-Tottenham defender Fazio and Hazard despatched the ball with ease.

Kolarov took it upon himself to reduce the arrears. The Serbia left-back beat Cesar Azpilicueta before unleashing a fierce shot which deflected off Andreas Christensen and beat Courtois.

Roma equalised when Fazio brought the ball forward and Dzeko met his lofted pass with a sweetly struck volley.

The striker hit his second when he met fellow former Manchester City man Kolarov's free-kick with a free header. But Conte's men roused themselves. Pedro crossed and Hazard found himself in space to head into the bottom corner.

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