FA Cup final: Eden Hazard made the difference for Chelsea in win over Man United

Chelsea edged a 1-0 win over Manchester United to lift the FA Cup at Wembley. Eden Hazard drew a foul from Phil Jones to win a penalty which he slotted away himself in the 22nd minute. That proved to be the solitary goal as the Blues emerged victorious from the cagey encounter. Hazard was ultimately the difference in the final, and his display deserves a closer look.


FA Cup final: Man United player ratings as Phil Jones earns a 4 for nightmare against Eden Hazard

Goals – 1

Assists – 0

Shots – 2

Shots on target – 2

Touches – 52

Passes – 29

Key passes – 26

Pass success – 73.1%

Dribbles – 3

Dispossessed – 2

Hazard was pinned down by Ander Herrera famously at Old Trafford last season but not this time. Despite Jose Mourinho playing the Spaniard as an auxiliary centre-back to keep an eye on Chelsea’s star man, Hazard showed good movement and largely escaped the midfielder’s jurisdiction. The Belgian was involved in virtually every Chelsea attack, earning and dispatching his penalty expertly.


Running with the ball – Neither side showed a great deal of creativity but in Hazard, Chelsea had an attacker who could drive forward with the ball, draw in defenders and create openings. He was key on the break as well, picking the ball up and running at pace. He showed superb control and speed to burst past Jones and win the penalty.


Lost possession – Given the parameters of the role he was operating in, the Belgian had to take certain risks. As a result, he did end up losing the ball quite often and registered a pass success rate of just 73 per cent. He was also dispossessed twice. Overall, Hazard didn’t use the ball particularly well and failed to make any key passes but he did come alive with his dribbling.


Scoring the winner in the FA Cup final is not a bad way to mark your 300th game for Chelsea. There was very little to separate the two teams. Both sides were compact and cautious and Hazard made the difference. He posed a threat every time he received possession and regularly forced defenders to back-track. When the opportunity presented itself, he made no mistake.

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