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English Premiership

We went easy on Arsenal, says Hazard

Arsenal’s French defender Laurent Koscielny (R) cuts out a through ball intended for Chelsea’s Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard (L) during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in London on February 4, 2017. © AFP / Adrian DENNIS

LONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 5Eden Hazard said runaway Premier League leaders Chelsea could easily have won by double the 3-1 scoreline that extinguished Arsenal’s title hopes for another season.

The Belgian tore through the Arsenal defence at Stamford Bridge on Saturday for a stunning Chelsea second goal but suggested the champions-elect held back from inflicting further damage on Arsene Wenger’s demoralised men.

“We could score two or three more goals. We didn’t, we keep it for the next game, I think,” Hazard told Chelsea TV, after Antonio Conte’s side blew Arsenal away. They now have a nine-point lead over Tottenham Hotspur at the Premier League summit.

Reflecting on his solo goal, after he powered his way from the halfway line, he added: “I score a few goals, a few beautiful goals

“But this one is special. It’s against Arsenal and we won the game.

“This one is one of the best.”

Conte’s side are now training their sights on next Sunday’s trip to Burnley.

“The gap is more big now. We want to stay there, top of the league forever,” Hazard said.

Marcos Alonso scored the opener for Chelsea and Cesc Fabregas lobbed in a third, before Olivier Giroud nodded in a late consolation as Wenger watched grimly from the Stamford Bridge stands as he serves a touchline ban.

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Chelsea might hold a handsome lead and have all the impetus, but Conte — who dived into the home fans to celebrate — was in more cautious mood afterwards and said he wanted even more from Hazard.

The Italian said: “He played very well. I hope to play always in this way.

“He has great talent and we need this talent.”

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