Eden Hazard is back.
Okay, we might be getting ahead of ourselves.
But at least he’s smiling once again, meaning the Chelsea family are smiling as well.
Hazard stole the headlines for all the right reasons last night, after he rescued Real Madrid from a Copa del Rey upset against Elche.
Sequence of events
Carlo Ancelotti’s men were held by the relegation-threatened side in normal time, so they were plunged into another half an hour of action down by the southeast coast.
Matters went from bad to worse in the space of a few fleeting moments for Madrid.
Marcelo Vieira received a straight red card pretty much straight after the restart, then Elche scored 60 seconds later.
Isco did draw the Spanish giants level, leaving the contest poised for a penalty shootout.
A fate that was avoided thanks to the brilliance of a certain Belgian.
Hazard the man of the hour
Brought on for the additional period, Hazard ensured his team’s passage to the quarter-final with an act of quality, reminiscent of the stunts he regularly pulled off at Chelsea.
With five minutes on the clock remaining, the 31-year-old found himself through on goal after beating the offside trap.
Faced by an onrushing goalkeeper, Madrid’s number seven calmly moved the ball onto his left foot, before striking into an empty net from the corner of the box.
Over the moon for Eden
It was almost a picture of perfection, followed by scenes of pure joy.
Incidents that have been few and far between since Hazard swapped Stamford Bridge for the Bernabeu.
Incredibly but not surprisingly, the forward had not scored all season for Los Blancos up until yesterday evening, his last for the club arriving back in May.
However, his finish did not suggest such a drought; quite the opposite in fact.
An execution that Chelsea fans felt none of their current attackers could pull off.
Here’s what they had to say about Hazard’s rare goal on Twitter:
No Chelsea player can score this that’s why we need Eden Hazard back home— Big Wiz Way (@Ayomideyyy1) January 20, 2022
No Chelsea player scoring that goal with their weaker foot from that distance.— African Legend 🖤💛 (@Oldkona) January 20, 2022
All of our attackers are bottling tht chance, best we sign the man back and wrap him in cotton wool— Danny🇿🇼🇿🇦 (@Los_Danni) January 20, 2022
None of our attacker can pull that off pic.twitter.com/JiPbmam6gx— Cfc_Champ🏆⭐⭐#Hustle #Believe @Chelseafc (@ChampCfc) January 20, 2022
Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Facebook and Twitter accounts