London – Eden Hazard & # 39; s beautiful double earned Chelsea a 2-0 win West Ham on Monday and moved the men from Maurizio Sarri to third place in the Eredivisie.
Reports continue to connect Hazard with a summer step to Real Madrid, where the Belgian refuses to extend his contract with Stamford Bridge after 2020.
And he again underlined how much Chelsea will miss their number 10 if he leaves for the Spanish capital with a dizzying show, ending with a sensational solo goal to open the score.
Hazard grabbed the ball just inside the West Ham half, but shot forward past three-month defenders and dropped coolly past Lukasz Fabianski after 24 minutes.
The hosts and Hazard had to wait until the rest time to secure the three points, as this time he checked in the box and shot in the far corner for his 19th goal of the season.
The win moved Chelsea two points away from Tottenham and three for the fifth placed Arsenal in the race for a top-four finish, but both their rivals in London and Manchester United – five points back in the sixth – now have a match in hands on Sarri & # 39; s men.
Unlike Hazard, Gonzalo Higuain has only achieved three goals since he was loaned to Chelsea in January, all against the already degraded opposition in Huddersfield and Fulham.
Before the kick-off, the Argentinian declared his desire to continue his move if Chelsea successfully challenged a one-year transfer period imposed by FIFA, but had to forget one more night for the goal.
Shortly after opening the score, Higuain grabbed a beautiful Hazard pass in the area, but a combination of Fabianski and the post denied him a much needed goal from a small angle.
Marko Arnautovic was lucky that he did not get a penalty for entering Hazard, but that seemed to be the only way to stop the Belgian captain.
Callum Hudson-Odoi just got his second start in the Premier League and the English teenage international was only rejected his first highest flight goal by a flying save from Fabianski to skip his rising ride.
Higuain & # 39; s lack of confidence was evident when he overridden the chance of N & # 39; Golo Kante & # 39; s cross and instead saw his shot drift after receiving a touch control on his chest.
Hazard on the other hand demanded the ball on every occasion and was the first to threaten again after the break with a shot that flashed over West Ham's goal.
However, after they had failed to set up a single attack before the break, the visitors emerged in the second half of the game and could have had Chelsea pay for the fact that they had not turned the game off.
Arnautovic & # 39; s clever cut took the unmarked Manuel Lanzini on the edge of the box, but his shot was too close to Kepa Arrizabalaga before Aaron Cresswell then pushed a shot inches wide from the far post.
However, the majority of the chances continued to come on the other side, although Ruben Loftus-Cheek made his attempt to defeat Fabianski's grateful arms with only the Polish goalkeeper.
Ross Barkley then just failed to reach a dangerous Hudson-Odoi cross and Fabianski refused substitute Olivier Giroud as Sarri became increasingly frustrated on the sidelines.
The Italian was finally able to relax after an injury period when Hazard had room to control Barkley's pass and produced the finish to match his performance.