Eden Hazard has warned Chelsea that the defending champions can’t afford to concede early goals at Stamford Bridge following Saturday afternoon’s 3-1 win over Newcastle United.
The west London outfit welcomed former manager Rafael Benitez and his Magpies side in search of a fifth victory in their last six Premier League appearances.
Chelsea fell behind in the 11th minute when Newcastle forward Dwight Gayle continued his record of scoring at some of the Premier League’s biggest stadiums this season.
Hazard levelled the Premier League clash seven minutes later with a clinical finish after the Chelsea number 10 pounced on the loose ball in the Newcastle penalty area.
Nigeria international Victor Moses delivered a perfect cross to allow Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata to edge the west London side into a narrow lead before half-time.
Hazard put the result beyond doubt with his fifth Premier League goal of the 2017-18 season with a deft penalty hoisted over the Newcastle goalkeeper with 13 minutes to play.
However, the 26-year-old named one area where the defending champions need to improve if Antonio Conte’s side harbour any hopes of catching leaders Manchester City.
“It’s good to have a reaction like this, but at Stamford Bridge we cannot concede the first goal so we need to improve this,” Hazard told Chelsea’s website.
“We were in trouble for the first 10 or 15 minutes, then we had a reaction – which is a good thing. Also we should have scored more goals because we produced a lot of chances, but at the end, we won the game.”
Hazard endured a tough start to the season after he was sidelined with an ankle problem that he suffered at the end of the 2016-17 campaign.