Eden Hazard's Chelsea Career So Far in 20 Pictures

Garry Hayes@@garryhayesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2014

Eden Hazard's Chelsea Career So Far in 20 Pictures

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    Scott Heppell/Associated Press

    He may only be 22 years old, but Eden Hazard is fast becoming the star of West London.

    Chelsea signed the Belgian for £32 million from Lille in July 2012. In the 18 months since his transfer, he has shown the Stamford Bridge faithful just why he came so highly rated.

    Hazard's first season in English football was an impressive start, but this year has seen him continue his progress to become an essential part of Jose Mourinho's team.

    Bleacher Report takes a look at some of his best and worst moments in a Chelsea shirt to date.

Makes His Premier League Debut Against Wigan Athletic

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    CLINT HUGHES/Associated Press/Associated Press

    Eden Hazard made his Premier League debut against Wigan Athletic on Aug. 19, 2012.

    He had a considerable impact, too, assisting Branislav Ivanovic for Chelsea's opening goal and later winning a penalty, which was dispatched by Frank Lampard.

    Chelsea won the game 2-0.

Scores His First Chelsea Goal

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    Sang Tan/Associated Press

    From earning assists for his new teammates, it wasn't long before Eden Hazard was on the scoresheet himself, scoring from the penalty spot in a 2-0 win over Newcastle on Aug. 25, 2012.

    It was his first Chelsea goal.

Saves Chelsea's Bacon Against Manchester United in the Capital One Cup

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    Sang Tan/Associated Press

    In a topsy-turvy Capital One Cup tie, Chelsea defeated Manchester United 5-4 at Stamford Bridge on Oct. 31, 2012.

    They had Eden Hazard to thank for their victory, however, after the Belgian rescued the game in the 90th minute, scoring from the penalty spot to make it 3-3.

    Chelsea eventually won the game in extra time.

Hazard Plays as Chelsea's Striker in Crunch Game with Juventus

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    With Fernando Torres firing blanks, Eden Hazard was deployed as Chelsea's lone striker in the must-win Champions League match against Juventus in Turin.

    Needless to say, it didn't work out. The Blues lost the game 3-0, all but dropping out of the Champions League at the group stage in the process.

    Manager Roberto Di Matteo was sacked the following day.

Hazard Helps Get Chelsea's Season Back on Track

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    On the back of Chelsea's disappointing Club World Cup campaign, Eden Hazard was on hand to get their Blues' 2012-13 campaign back on the right track with a 5-1 thumping of Leeds United in the Capital One Cup.

    Chelsea had gone behind, but after the interval, they showed their class with an excellent display. Hazard was a big part of it, and Chelsea blew the Championship side away with goals from Juan Mata, Branislav Ivanovic, Victor Moses, Hazard and Fernando Torres.

Chelsea Rout Aston Villa

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Just five days after their 5-1 victory over Leeds United, Chelsea were back among the goals. This time it was Aston Villa who paid the price, succumbing to an emphatic 8-0 defeat—Chelsea's joint highest ever Premier League score.

    Eden Hazard scored Chelsea's eighth goal.

Hazard Sees Red Against Swansea City in the Capital One Cup

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Chelsea were trailing Swansea City 2-0 on aggregate after their first-leg defeat in the Capital One semi-final in January 2013, and things got worse when Eden Hazard was sent off at the Liberty Stadium.

    With 10 minutes remaining, the Belgian attempted to retrieve the ball from a ball boy, who, in his infinite wisdom, opted to smother the ball in an attempt to waste time.

    Hazard decided to kick the ball from under him, but judging by the ball boy's reaction, he made contact with him also, resulting in the referee giving him an early bath.

    Hazard received a three-match ban for his troubles.

    You can watch the video of the incident on YouTube.

Hazard Saves His Teammates' Blushes Again

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    Associated Press

    Having been dumped out of the Champions League, Chelsea faced Sparta Prague in the round of 32 in the Europa League.

    They won the first leg in Prague 1-0, but after a dismal display at Stamford Bridge, they were trailing 1-0 on the night, with the game looking like it would enter extra time.

    Eden Hazard stepped up again, though, rocketing in a last winner equalizer to make it 1-1, with the Blues progressing 2-1 on aggregate.

Chelsea Claim Memorable Old Trafford Draw

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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    Within 11 minutes at Old Trafford, Chelsea found themselves trailing Manchester United 2-0 in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

    Eden Hazard replaced Frank Lampard as a 52nd-minute substitute and by the hour mark, it was 2-1—the Belgian scoring a wonder goal to get his side back in it.

    Hazard changed the game, and Ramires equalized on 68 minutes to earn a replay, of which Chelsea won 1-0.

Chelsea Lose to Manchester City in the FA Cup Semi-Final

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Having turned their season around, Chelsea faced Manchester City in the 2012-13 FA Cup semi-final. It proved a bridge too far, however, with Roberto Mancini's men outclassing the Blues at Wembley.

    The game finished 2-1, although City went on to lose the final against relegated Wigan Athletic.

Hamstring Injury Forces Hazard Out of Europa League Final

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    Just four days ahead of the Europa League Final, Eden Hazard pulled his hamstring in Chelsea's 2-1 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park.

    The win was crucial in all but securing third place in the Premier League, but it meant Hazard would be absent from his team's trip to Amsterdam to face Benfica.

Hazard Strikes in Super Cup Against Bayern

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Having missed out on Chelsea's Europa League Final victory, Eden Hazard made up for it with a goal against Bayern Munich in the Super Cup in August 2013.

    While the Belgian enjoyed an excellent performance, it would all end in tears, though, as the Blues fell to defeat in the penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw.

Belgium Reach the World Cup

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    Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Associated Press

    It's been 12 years since Belgium last featured at the World Cup.

    With a golden generation of their own, however, featuring the likes of Eden Hazard and a host of other familiar names from the Premier League and European competitions, they sealed their place at Brazil 2014 last October, finishing top of Group A.

Controversial Goal Overshadows Chelsea Victory

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    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    This season saw Eden Hazard score a controversial goal against Cardiff City in Chelsea's 4-1 victory at Stamford Bridge.

    Samuel Eto'o had dispossessed the goalkeeper, and with the Cardiff defence stopping, expecting a free-kick, it was Eto'o and Hazard who reacted most quickly.

    Hazard squared to his teammate, who fluffed his lines, leaving Hazard to tap home into an empty net.

    Cardiff had been leading 1-0 at the time.

It's Hazard to the Rescue...Again!

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    Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

    Eden Hazard maintained Jose Mourinho's unbeaten Premier League record at Stamford Bridge in November, firing home a last-minute penalty after Chelsea had been trailing West Bromwich Albion 2-1.

    The referee was ready to blow his whistle for full time when Ramires won a penalty. Hazard did the rest.

It's the Eden Show at the Stadium of Light

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    Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

    Sunderland may have been locked in a relegation battle for much of the campaign, but they gave Chelsea a run for their money in the Premier League in early December.

    Chelsea eventually won the game 4-3—all thanks to a stand-out performance from Eden Hazard, who scored twice and also claimed an assist for Frank Lampard.

Hazard Wins It Against Swansea...

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    Warren Little/Getty Images

    Chelsea faced Swansea City on Boxing Day this season, with a solitary strike from Eden Hazard proving the difference in a 1-0 victory.

    It was a vital win that set the Blues up perfectly for their busy Christmas period.

...before Rescuing Chelsea Against Liverpool

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Three days after that Swansea City victory, Chelsea found themselves trailing title rivals Liverpool within three minutes at Stamford Bridge after Martin Skrtel had scored.

    Chelsea responded well and had Eden Hazard to thank for a world-class effort that pulled them level on 17 minutes.

    From then on, there was only going to be one winner, and Samuel Eto'o made sure of the result on 34 minutes to make it 2-1.

Hull Succumb to Hazard's Talents

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    After putting in a brave performance at the KC Stadium, Hull City were eventually undone by Eden Hazard, who broke the deadlock with a fine individual goal.

    It set Chelsea on their way, and Fernando Torres added a second late one to finish Hull off, Chelsea winning 2-0.

Juan Mata Departs Chelsea for Manchester United

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

    It hasn't been pleasant for Chelsea fans seeing Juan Mata turn out in the red of Manchester United, but they have Eden Hazard and Oscar to thank for that.

    The duo have been in such fine form this season, it meant Jose Mourinho could feel comfortable in cashing in on the Spaniard, knowing he has two equally talented attacking midfielders in his ranks.

    Mata was a fine servant for the Blues, but Hazard leaves the impression he will be a better one.