Breaking the drought



Eden Hazard of Chelsea celebrates after scoring. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

Tim Harrison

By Tim Harrison

It’s the kind of goal that inspires folk songs. The fact that it broke Dry January’s drought made it extra special.

I’m talking about the second goal at Brighton, a game in which everything seemed to go the Blues’ way.

Chelsea’s front three of Michy Batshuayi, Eden Hazard and Willian linked up to bamboozle the Seagulls’ defenders.

Pass, pass, pass, pass, backheel, backheel, blast.

Willian’s shot was divine, but the build-up to it was as rapid as it was mesmeric. If there’s a finer goal in this month’s competition, I’ll eat my programme.

The 4-0 away confidence booster was just what the doctor ordered, and with Ross Barkley on the bench there are real signs of confidence returning after a new-year hiatus.

Which makes working out why the board is pursuing lofty target men such as 98-year-old Peter Crouch all the more bewildering for fans.

It is also perplexing Hazard, still dithering about whether to cash in on his fame and move to Spain in the summer.

“We have two very good strikers in Alvaro and Michy,” Chelsea’s No10 commented. “I don’t think we need another; if they’re not ready to play, I can play striker.”

It isn’t just Batshuayi who is feeling unloved as a result of the club’s notorious short-termism. Tammy Abraham, on loan to Swansea, wants to return to the Bridge… but not as third or fourth choice up front.

The Blues face Newcastle on Sunday lunchtime – a game in which Barkley is expected to feature, if only as a late sub.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

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