The Belgian scored an excellent goal as Chelsea beat Brighton 3-0 at Stamford Bridge to keep up their challenge for a top four place, Olivier Giroud and Ruben Loftus-Cheek adding the others on a night lit up by teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi’s performance.
It was a victory by a much-changed Chelsea team which put the bad feeling of their game at Cardiff last weekend, when manager Maurizio Sarri was booed by fans who called for him to be sacked, behind them for now.
Hudson-Odoi’s first Premier League start was aided by good performances from Giroud, who replaced the axed Gonzalo Higuain, another academy product in Loftus-Cheek, and Andreas Christensen. All four staked a significant claim that they should keep their places.
Chelsea are now behind Arsenal in fourth spot only on goal difference, though Unai Emery’s side have a game in hand, with six matches left of the campaign.
Hazard said of the celebrations 13 miles away across London: “Tottenham for two or three years have been one of the best teams in England.
“I don’t like that, but we have to accept it. For the Premier League it is good – new stadium, top players.
“But Chelsea, we won a lot of trophies. They have not. I hope this continues.”
But the Belgian, who has now netted 17 goals this season, added that the hype around Spurs actually helps Chelsea: “I like that – because people are not talking about Chelsea.
“We are quiet, in fifth place. We go game by game. Chelsea is a top club. We like this challenge, so we will go and try to win because we want a top four place.”
Even though he did not score, the night belonged to Hudson-Odoi, who the fans had been calling for for weeks but who Sarri had stubbornly refused to blood in the league.
Hazard said: “The guy was waiting to start a game in the league – but he is ready. You can see the way he takes the ball, he is playing with confidence. He is still young and can improve, but he is already very good.
“I have not been giving him any advice. We just train together. I don’t need to talk. If he wants to ask something I will tell him, but he is a great player already.
“Was I as good at 18? Better I think!
“When you are young you just play. Sometimes you try, and miss, but the good thing is to give freshness to the team. Callum has the legs to run for 90 minutes. At 28 I am a bit tired at the end – but he is still young. He is in a good team to learn.
“I told him, for me it is the best thing if he stays humble. Just work, score goals, and be happy on the pitch. He can go very far.
“I was not at first in my career listening to everything. My family helped me to stay humble. In football it can happen very quick. You can be at the top in two months, and then in two months everyone can forget you. You keep your feet on the floor and train.
“For him it is easy because the players around him are humble. If we were all thinking we are the best, for him it could be hard to stay humble. But he is intelligent, has a family that cares for him.
“Since day one he trained with us he had great skills. It is the decision of the manager when he plays. We want young English players coming through. But we also have Willian, Pedro, me – four wingers. But Callum’s time is coming.”