Hazard thinks Chelsea’s London derby with Arsenal is crucial
Eden Hazard hopes Chelsea can make amends for their disappointing loss at Aston Villa with a win in Saturday’s London derby against fellow title hopefuls Arsenal.
The Blues provided a response to their 1-0 Villa Park defeat with a 2-0 victory over Galatasaray on Tuesday night which secured the 2012 Champions League winners a 3-1 last-16 aggregate win and a place in Friday’s quarter-final draw.
But for now their attention turns back to the Premier League and playing the Gunners on the day Arsene Wenger celebrates his 1,000th game as Arsenal boss.
"The Champions League and the Premier League are both magnificent competitions," Hazard said.
"The Champions League is rare because you play less often but the Premier League is so important to us and we know how important it is for the fans too.
"The game against Arsenal comes at an important moment because it follows a league defeat.
"We are going to do our best in front of our own supporters in what is a big derby game. There is no better one to win."
Hazard was highly praised for his contribution in Tuesday night’s victory on a night when Stamford Bridge joined in unison to hail Didier Drogba, who returned with Galatasaray after scoring 157 goals in 341 appearances for the Blues.
And the Belgian was delighted to be able to play on the same pitch with ‘one of the best strikers in the world’.
"As I said to him after the game finished, it was a pleasure to play against him," Hazard said.
"He is still one of the best strikers in the world. It is true that he is no longer young but that’s how we young players learn – by meeting people like him.
"I have nothing but respect for what he has done and what he is still doing. I admire Didier for the player he is and the type of person he is."
However, midfielder Frank Lampard insisted Chelsea have a long road ahead of them before claiming any silverware this season despite hailing Jose Mourinho as the world’s best.
"He’s the best manager in the world," Lampard said.
"You can see the difference this year in the league and the Champions League. The team’s strong. He drives the team and he wants to win.
"It’s good, but we need to carry on. We haven’t won anything yet."