Eden Hazard admits that Chelsea will be guilty of a capitulation to rival Paris Saint-Germain’s stunning Champions League collapse against Barcelona if they surrender a 10-point lead in the Premier League title race.
The Spanish champions pulled off the biggest comeback in the history of Europe’s elite club competition on Wednesday, overturning a 4-0 first-leg deficit by beating PSG 6-1 at Camp Nou and scoring three goals in the final eight minutes of play.
Chelsea enjoy a 10-point advantage at the top of the Premier League with 11 matches remaining and are clear favourites to regain the title they surrendered last season, but Hazard says PSG’s fate has underlined the dangers of thinking too far ahead.
“You saw what happened in the Camp Nou, Barcelona,” Hazard said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. “I think if we don’t win the title this season it’s something like PSG; the same feeling. Because, you know, you win 4-0 at home and then you think that you can go through.
“If we don’t win the title this season it will be something of the same feeling because we have the opportunity to win so we have to. But don’t think too early about the title, think game after game.”
Chelsea’s immediate focus is on the FA Cup as head coach Antonio Conte seeks to emulate the achievement of Italian compatriot and friend Carlo Ancelotti, who won an historic Double at Stamford Bridge in his first season in English football.
Manchester United stand between the Blues and a place in the semifinals of the competition, and Hazard expects the team led by former manager Jose Mourinho to mount stern resistance on Monday — particularly in light of their 4-0 rout at the hands of Chelsea in October.
“One month ago I told people that I thought United will be the best team in the second half of the season,” the Belgium international added. “Because they started slow, and then they have great players, a great manager, and they know what to do.
“OK, sometimes at home, they have lost some games or drawn, but they are in a good form. They had a long trip [to Rostov in Russia in the Europa League]. I expect a good game from them. They want revenge because we won at home 4-0 [in the league, in October].”