Chelsea’s Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard applauds the fans as he leaves the pitch after being substituted off during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Chelsea at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on December 16, 2018. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) /
Agence France-Presse

Eden Hazard has called the race to make the Premier League top four “a hard war” but insists Chelsea will fight until the end of the season.

The Blues picked up a hard-fought 2-1 win over Fulham on Sunday to gain ground on Arsenal, who drew 1-1 with Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday.

Maurizio Sarri’s side are now just two points back from fourth-placed Manchester United and have a game in hand over the Red Devils and the Gunners.

Hazard told Chelsea TV: “We talked together in the dressing room about Arsenal-Tottenham. Both lost two points.

“Top four is a hard war, because we’re not only four teams, we’re six teams.

“Now we have 11 games to play till the end of the season. We’ll try to take the maximum points.”

Gonzalo Higuain gave Chelsea a 1-0 advantage at Craven Cottage before Calum Chambers equalised, only for Jorginho to retake the lead four minutes later.

The Blues then survived a number of close chances in the second half as Fulham tried to salvage something from their first fixture since Scott Parker took over from Claudio Ranieri.

“The performance was great and we took three points,” Hazard added.

Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga played his part by making four saves having been recalled to the starting line-up.

Kepa was dropped for the 2-0 win over Tottenham after he refused to make way for substitute Willy Caballero in the final minutes before a penalty shootout in the Carabao Cup final.

Sarri said his decision to leave the Spaniard out was a message to the group, but insisted the matter was closed after Kepa was reinstated to the team on Sunday.

Of the 24-year-old shot-stopper, Hazard added: “The week was not so easy for him, but he’s a great goalkeeper and he’s a great guy.”

The Blues host Dynamo Kiev in their Europa League last -6 first leg on Thursday night before playing Wolves at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Arsenal take on Manchester United in the same round of fixtures, so Sarri’s side could leapfrog one of those teams if they beat Wolves.

Get more stories like this on Twitter

AD: To get thousands of free final year project topics and other project materials sorted by subject to help with your research [click here]

More Stories