Hazard eyes vindication against Swansea

Three months after his controversial altercation with a ball-boy in Chelsea's Capital One Cup tie against Swansea, Eden Hazard is eager to get some revenge.

Eden Hazard of Chelsea

By FOX Sports Staff

The incident marked the low point of Hazard's scintillating first season with the Blues as he was slapped with a three-match ban and suffered severe criticism from all quarters. 

Swansea went on to win the two-legged semi-final and secured the first major trophy in their 101-year history with a 5-0 triumph over Bradford City in the final. 

However, the focus will be back on Chelsea in Sunday's Barclays Premier League tie between the two sides as the Blues desperately need a win in order to boost their chances of a top-four finish in order to secure qualification to the Champions League. 

Currently, they are in fourth place and have just a slender one-point advantage over nearest rivals Tottenham with just five games remaining. 

But it will be more than just the points on offer for Hazard as he is keen to use the match as an opportunity to clear his name. 

"We were really hoping to win the Capital One Cup and I hope we can get some revenge for that defeat," Hazard said in a frank admission to the Daily Mirror. "And a win will mean we can continue to push for a Champions League place."

The 22-year-old admitted to a topsy-turvy season as, aside from the Capital One Cup, he has been part of the squad that was eliminated from the FA Cup semi-final as well - Manchester City edged Chelsea with a 2-1 victory at Wembley earlier in the month to end their hopes of securing domestic silverware. 

However, the talented young midfielder has also widely been praised for his swift adjustment to the Premier League with nine goals and 12 assists to his name in his debut campaign. 

Admitting that it has been something of a mixed season, Hazard stated: “This has been a difficult ­season and to lose two semi-finals hurt. It is the hardest round to go out of a cup. But this has been a year of transition at the club.”

“I adapted very quickly and I started well. I fitted into the team.

“The biggest difference I have found is the intensity of the game in England ­compared to France. There, you can have quiet periods in a match, maybe five or 10 minutes. But not in England. It is ­-ntense for the whole 90 minutes - or even longer as we found out at Liverpool last Sunday.”

Hazard has been nominated for the the PFA Player of the Year and the Young Player of the Year awards but the Belgian international was humble in remarks about the achievements.

“That makes me proud because it is the other players who vote,” he said. “But I owe a lot to my teammates for helping me.”

Chelsea play Swansea later on Sunday but then have to swiftly turn their attention to the Europa League as they have to follow up their 2-1 win in the first leg of their semi-final against Basel with a similar result at home on Thursday. 

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