Chelsea’s start to the season has seen summer signings Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas take the majority of the headlines.
The two Spanish internationals have combined to devastating effect, ensuring the Blues raced to the top of the table and looked every bit champions-elect. But against Manchester City on Sunday, neither Fabregas nor Costa could break down Manuel Pellegrini’s back-line.
In the end it was left to Eden Hazard to set up Andre Schurrle for the visitors’ only goal of the game, cancelled out late on by Frank Lampard.
So while the game was dominated for the most part by two stubborn defences, how did Hazard compare with City’s David Silva, the Spaniard who is so often the creative catalyst for the reigning champions?
Hazard set up Chelsea’s goal while Silva failed to do the same for his side, while both players managed one key pass.
The City star had a goal-scoring attempt, although he failed to find the target, while he also outdid Hazard when it came to forward passes, managing 17 compared to the Belgian international’s 11. Silva also had 32 more touches of the ball than his opponent.
However, the Chelsea player outperformed his City counterpart in terms of pass accuracy, his 95 per cent considerably better than Silva’s 89 per cent. Hazard also went on 11 dribbles (something he is famed for) while Silva managed just three.
In its simplest form, Hazard had the better game because he set up Chelsea’s goal, but he also outdid Silva in a number of other key areas. In contrast, Silva will be disappointed not to have had more attempts on goal himself in a game when that single flash of brilliance would have changed everything.