Premier League 2018-19: 5 talking points from gameweek 15
It was another enthralling set of fixtures, as the Premier League served us midweek action across ten centres.
Clubs like Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham earned expected victories, while there was a shock at the Molineux as Chelsea fell to Wolves having gone ahead.
Manchester United fell further behind in the race for a top-four finish, but Everton could not consolidate on their impressive form in recent weeks, being held to a draw at home to Newcastle United. In this piece, we present the five biggest talking points from match week 15 of the 2018/2019 Premier League season.
#5 Hazard falling back into old habits
Long touted as the heir to the Messi/Ronaldo throne, Hazard has a lot of rivals to his being proclaimed the best player in the world, chief of which is Neymar.
However, beyond what any other player does or doesn't do, Hazard's biggest threat to filing the lofty boots of Ronaldo and Messi has always been his inconsistency.
When it comes to pure talent, Hazard is right up there with the best - that has not been in doubt right from his Ligue 1 Player of the Year winning days at Lille.
Nevertheless, for all his talents, he has failed to consistently deliver when it matters most for his team, and this is what sets Messi and Ronaldo apart and even the much-maligned Neymar.
Case in point would be his Chelsea career. In 2015, Hazard was unplayable, almost on a one-man mission to showcase his abilities, and it paid off immensely as Chelsea won the league title for the third time under Mourinho.
A season later, he was absolutely atrocious, one of a number of Chelsea players who were substandard as the club found itself battling relegation at one point, which led to the sack of Jose Mourinho amidst rumors of losing the faith of his players. Hazard ended the campaign with just 4 PL goals from 31 matches (a season on from being named the PFA Player of the Year).
The same Jekkyl and Hyde sequence continued under Conte, and he ended last season in somewhat indifferent form having starred in the title triumph won at a canter only a season earlier.
At the World Cup, Hazard arguably gave the best performance of his career( especially in the quarterfinal win over Neymar's Brazil), and his displays were deemed worthy enough of the World Cup Silver Ball (indeed, some fans believe he actually had a better World Cup campaign than Luka Modric - but that is beside the point).
Off the back of his World Cup exploits, Hazard began the season like a house on fire, scoring seven goals in his first eight matches and it was opined that Maurizio Sarri had unlocked the pattern to get the best of Hazard, with his previous two coaches having been ultra defensive.
However, since then, the Belgian has struggled to influence matches in the same way. Against Wolves, he was a shadow of the player he was at the beginning of the season, failing to make much of an impact and watching on as a mere spectator.
He has now gone 11 matches without a goal for club and country (it is hard to imagine Neymar going on such a drought), and it is for reasons like this why many believe he would never reach the heights of Messi and Ronaldo.
The back injury sustained at the end of October might have a hand to play in his loss of form, but Chelsea fans would be desperate for him to get his mojo back, especially seeing as their main strikers are horribly off form.