Chelsea's Eden Hazard proved a menace as Chelsea earned a 1-1 draw with Paris Saint Germain in the away leg of their Champions League round-of-16 clash.
The visitors picked up what could prove to be a decisive away goal less than 10 minutes before half time when Branislav Ivanovic finished off a move that included defensive partners John Terry and Gary Cahill. However, the Ligue 1 outfit were level nine minutes after the interval, as Edinson Cavani found himself unmarked inside the box to nod home Blaise Matuidi's cross.
It turned out to be a tough night for mercurial Belgian forward Hazard, who is continuously being linked with a move to Chelsea's first knock-out round opponents. He may have only just secured a new five-and-a-half year deal with the Stamford Bridge outfit, as per BBC Sport, but this has not prevented further speculation in the Daily Star linking him with a future move to Laurent Blanc's four-time French top flight champions.
|Team||Total Shots||Key Passes||Total Passes||Passing Accuracy (%)||Final 3rd Passes||Successful Dribbles||Dribble Success (%)||Fouls Won||Minutes Played|
He was battered and bruised as the Blues resisted the advances of the Parisian onslaught. Mourinho's Premier League leaders dictated a mere 45% of the possession, and this was reflected in the final match statistics. Hazard may stake a claim to being the Premier League's most creative player this season, but he could do little to aid Chelsea's cause at Parc des Princes. With Chelsea mustering only two attempts on goal all evening, the Belgian played just a solitary key pass.
Nonetheless, we did see tremendous positives in his game. While he undoubtedly grew frustrated - swapping the left flank for the right, and vice versa, in search of a breakthrough - his ability to beat his man, both on and off the ball, proved mesmerising to watch. He gave Gregory van der Wiel and Maxwell a torrid evening, completing five dribbles and winning a competition-high nine free-kicks.
|Team||Match||Fouls Won||Minutes Played|
|Eden Hazard||Chelsea||Paris SG vs Chelsea||9||90|
|Hulk||Zenit||Bayer 04 vs Zenit||8||90|
|Pajtim Kasami||Olympiacos||Olympiacos vs Malmo||7||90|
|Neymar||Barcelona||Ajax vs Barcelona||7||75|
|Mario Balotelli||Liverpool||Liverpool vs Ludogorets||6||90|
His passing accuracy is also worth noting. Considering the high intensity of such an occasion, the Belgian completed an impressive 86.1% of his attempts to find a teammate. With 53% of these 36 passes coming within the final third, it's clear to see just how troublesome a force he can be. He loves to operate in and around the 18-yard-box, and he does so with aplomb.
Be it an early audition for a future switch to Paris, or simply an affirmation of the impact he is looking to have on the European stage, Hazard displayed plenty of positive signs in Tuesday evening's stalemate with PSG. He emerged at the centre of Chelsea's brief escapades in the final third, while he proved a continuous menace to the opposition full-backs with his mazy runs and dribbling ability.