Chelsea take on ta­ble top­pers City

The Hitavada - - SPORTS -

CHELSEA’S Premier League ti­tle chal­lenge to Manch­ester City has faded dra­mat­i­cally in re­cent weeks as Eden Haz­ard’s goals have dried up to leave Maurizio Sarri’s men 10 points adrift of the cham­pi­ons ahead of Satur­day’s clash be­tween the sides at Stam­ford Bridge.

Even in the midst of an 18-game un­beaten run af­ter City eased past the Blues 2-0 in the Com­mu­nity Shield in Au­gust, Sarri in­sisted Chelsea wouldn’t be able to last the pace against a team he con­sid­ers the best in Europe.

How­ever, the Ital­ian ad­mit­ted his con­cern at the scale of his side’s down­turn in re­cent weeks as de­feats at Tot­ten­ham and then at Wolves where Chelsea ca­pit­u­lated from 1-0 up to lose 21 on Wed­nes­day. Those losses as well as a goal­less home draw with Ever­ton mean Chelsea are hang­ing onto their top-four place only on goal dif­fer­ence.

“City are the best team in Europe, maybe the best in the world,” said Sarri. “Manch­ester City are in an­other cat­e­gory. We have to play and to fight to be in the top four.” It is no co­in­ci­dence that Chelsea’s dip has co­in­cided with Haz­ard’s early sea­son hot streak cool­ing off.

The Bel­gian cap­tain stood out as an

ex­cep­tion to many play­ers suf­fer­ing a World Cup hang­over. Af­ter be­ing crowned the sec­ond best player on show in Rus­sia, Haz­ard scored seven goals in his first six league starts of the sea­son.

(AFP)

Chelsea’s Eden Haz­ard will look to re­gain­ing his form against Manch­ester City to help his side win.

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