Eden Hazard gave Chelsea fans something to smile about yesterday evening, despite his side's failure to secure three points against German outfit Schalke. On the verge of signing a new contract worth a reported £200,00-a-week at Stamford Bridge, the Belgian put in a tremendous attacking shift.
He was lively in the opening exchanges and It was little surprise to see him involved in Chelsea's 10th minute goal. Fabregas started the move, winning the ball from a Schalke defender, he then interchanged passes with Hazard just inside the area. before sliding a shot beyond goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann.
Hazard proved his creative ingenuity all evening, tormenting the Schalke defenders from start to finish. He fashioned two goal scoring chances in total, and would have had two assists, had it not been for the wasteful shooting of Didier Drogba; the man given the nod ahead of the in-form Diego Costa.
He will, however, be disappointed that he couldn't find the back of the himself. Considering he had five shots in total, just one of which was off target, he probably would have scored on another evening. His best chance saw him blast the ball over the cross-bar in the final stages as Chelsea were forced to settle for a point.
Nonetheless, the 23-year-old gave a timely reminder of his fantastic ability in possession, adding to his already remarkable take on tally for the season. He already boasts 25 successful dribbles - the highest number in Europe - yet he added a further five in this match, having attempted to round an opponent on 10 occasions.
His passing wasn't quite up to his usual standards. In the league this season he has recorded an accuracy rate of 91%, yet against Schalke, he found a team-mate just 79% of the time. Having said this, six of his 11 misplaced passes were attempts to create further chances on the edge of the opposition penalty area.
The Belgian's performance is at least one aspect that should lift some of the negativity surrounding the final result. Following arguably his best game of the season, Jose Mourinho even took the time to praise him for his continual presence.
Long gone are the days in which the Portuguese head coach criticised the youngster for his work-rate. Create, shoot, cover, dribble - he did it all against Schalke.