Real Madrid fans were patiently waiting for Eden Hazard to turn up the heat, and his dazzling first half against Eibar is a confirmation that he is back to his best.
After a slow start to his Real Madrid career, Eden Hazard started to show signs of his world class ability over the past few weeks. He owned Leganes in a 5-0 victory for Los Merengue, completing seven dribbles and drawing seven fouls, as per WhoScored.com, in a trademark display of individual brilliance.
And although Real struggled to score against Real Betis that weekend, drawing 0-0, it wasn’t for a lack of effort from the high-priced summer signing. Hazard created loads of chances for his teammates, as he was far and away the best player at the Santiago Bernabeu against Betis with six more dribbles completed and three fouls drawn.
This Wednesday in the Champions League against Galatasaray, Hazard quietly had his best game of the tournament. Rodrygo stole the show with his perfect hat trick and Karim Benzema also shined with a brace, but Hazard’s two key passes and four dribbles completed in 68 minutes represented quality contributions from the former Chelsea superstar.
However, Hazard saved his best for “last”, putting together a masterful first half in Real Madrid’s breezy 4-0 win over Eibar in Los Blancos’ final game before the November international break.
Hazard showed his full palette of skills. He drew penalty for Sergio Ramos’ goal to make it 2-0, completely embarrassing the bamboozled Eibar defender who fouled him. The Belgian left winger also had a dangerous rabona cross, another cross to a shot on target for Benzema, and a ridiculous backheel nutmeg during a counterattack. Oh, and he sent the deadly through ball that led to the penalty on Lucas Vazquez, which Benzema converted for his brace at 3-0.
In short, Hazard was unplayable. This is the Eden Hazard that Florentino Perez gladly spent nine figures for. This is the Eden Hazard who completely tore apart the Premier League for years, scoring goals and claiming souls with his dribbling skills.
It is impossible to steal the ball from Hazard when he gets going, and Eibar witnessed his combination of quickness and technical quality first-hand. He finished Matchday 13 with six dribbles completed in 72 minutes, giving Real Madrid fans a whole host of highlights to pour over during the international break.
Although Hazard hasn’t scored or assisted in La Liga since the final game before the October international break against Granada, in which he recorded his first goal and assist for Los Merengues, his impact goes beyond the goals and assists. Even if we want to measure his impact statistically, the man has at least six dribbles completed in each of Real’s past three La Liga contests.
There is simply no question for those of us who have been watching Real Madrid over the past few weeks: Eden Hazard is back to his world-class best. He is a superstar, he is a game-changer for Real, and he can help this team win multiple trophies in 2019-2020. The chemistry between Hazard and Benzema is blossoming, and the work rate is clearly there. Look for Hazard to be even more immense after the November break when Real Sociedad and PSG beckon as tough challenges.