Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard completed more ball recoveries than anyone else vs Sevilla
The Belgian forward earned his dream move to the Bernabeu from Chelsea this summer, but has seen his first few months at Los Blancos blighted by injury.
Hazard missed the opening weeks of the La Liga season due to a knock picked up in pre-season, but he finally made his first start in Spain’s top-flight last night away at Sevilla.
Real won the game 1-0 thanks to a second-half goal from Karim Benzema, with the Frenchman taking his 2019 league goal tally to 20 – just one behind Lionel Messi.
Hazard had a big point to prove alongside the Frenchman after his woeful showing in the midweek 3-0 loss away at Paris Saint-Germain, a performance which earned him a 2/10 rating from L’Equipe.
But against Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla side, Hazard showed exactly why Real Madrid splashed around £130m on him.
Not only were there glimpses of his immense attacking threat, but Hazard also put in one hell of a defensive shift.
No player on the pitch completed more ball recoveries than Hazard with eight, a statistic you rarely associate with one of the world’s elite attackers.
Fellow summer signing Ferland Mendy was well protected throughout, allowing Real to keep a clean sheet in La Liga for the first time since April.
It looks like he’s finally finding his feet in the Spanish capital.
His effort levels are high and with the copious amounts of talent he possesses, the goals and assists will soon flow for Hazard.
Real are now second in the La Liga table and are already four points clear of Barcelona.
With Benzema scoring, Gareth Bale back in Zinedine Zidane’s good books and Hazard adjusting, the 2019/20 season could still be a bright one for Los Blancos.

There’s no doubt that Raheem Sterling has developed into one of the best players in world football at Manchester City.
When City paid Liverpool £49 million for the then 20-year-old in July 2015, many believed they had overspent.
And after 13 Premier League goals in 64 appearances during his first two seasons at the Etihad, that looked the case.
However, under Pep Guardiola, Sterling has improved immensely.
He’s scored 48 goals in the previous two campaigns in all competitions and already has six in five this season.
So it sounds like there will an almighty tug-of-war between Man City and Real Madrid over Sterling at some point in the coming years.
The truth is, City is undoubtedly in a better state than Real at the moment.
They’re probably the best side in world football right now and are just missing a Champions League trophy to confirm that.
Maybe that’s the only reason Sterling would move.
Real have won the competition 13 times and, despite their current bad form, are still regarded as the biggest club in the world.
And once Pep leaves the Etihad, Sterling may follow him out the door.

After a summer of transfer rumours and off-field issues, the Brazilian is back in the Paris Saint-Germain starting lineup and delivering goals.
Last weekend, Neymar scored twice late on to seal a 2-0 win over Strasbourg, despite being booed by the PSG fans.
e acknowledged in the aftermath of that game that he expects to receive a hostile reception wherever he goes in France, especially his own stadium.
And it seems the Lyon fans aren’t too keen on the South American star either, as they chucked plastic cups at him while he was attempting to take a corner.
PSG made the trip south to face Sylvinho’s side last night in what is one of the biggest fixtures on the Ligue 1 calendar.
It was a frustrating night for Thomas Tuchel’s team, who were without Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani, Mauro Icardi and Pablo Sarabia.
But they had their finest match-winner in Neymar fit and firing and he silenced the hostile Lyon crowd with a stunning winner in the 87th-minute to earn PSG a 1-0 victory.