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Two hours of football could not separate Chelsea and Eintracht Frankfurt last night so to penalties it went, and who more fitting to strike the decisive spot-kick than Eden Hazard.
The Belgian converted from 12 yards to send the Blues to Baku for a Europa League final meeting with Arsenal. Kepa Arrizabalaga had saved a couple of penalties to give Hazard the chance to win it, and from the moment he walked up you sensed there would only be one outcome.
Reflecting afterwards on a hard-fought tie against strong German opposition, Hazard cited our character as being key to our eventual victory.
‘It was hard but when you start the game you think you can reach the final, especially when you draw the first game away,’ Hazard said.
‘In the first half we were the better team but then like always this season we conceded after five minutes of the second half. At the end we pushed, they created one or two chances. It was 50-50 at the end. It was not the best game to play in but in the end our character was good and we go through.
‘We are happy and we will go to Baku to try to win the trophy.’
Despite grabbing some of the headlines for his deciding spot-kick, Hazard was quick to point out nothing has been achieved yet.
‘It’s a penalty, you never know! I always take my responsibility when I have to. I scored, we won, I am happy, the boys are happy, the fans are happy.
‘But it’s not finished. We have another game to play against Arsenal. We have struggled against them in the last two or three years, so we need to go to Baku and play with quality and win the game.’
Hazard’s future has been the subject of much discussion this season, but he insisted it is at the back of his mind right now with his focus instead on trying to help Chelsea lift silverware.
‘I’m only thinking about winning something for this club and for this squad. If it’s my last game I will try to do everything, if not we will see. In my mind I don’t know yet. I’m just thinking to win games, that’s it.’