With his first goal since January 2022, Eden Hazard has had a disappointing time in the Spanish capital since joining Real Madrid in 2019. At the end of last season, Hazard promised this season would be his season. A penalty miss against Celta Vigo did little to back his claim. Still, in Glasgow, he did show flashes of the brilliance that made Real Madrid splash £89m for his signature in 2019. Meanwhile, the team will be without Karim Benzema for the foreseeable future.
The Garden of Eden Hazard
In his post-match conference, even Carlo Ancelotti said Rodrygo was done with his apprenticeship and was ready to be a starter. So why was an out-of-form Hazard brought on rather than the kid who rescued the team twice last season in the same competition? It was a baffling decision.
When he made a mess of a Carvajal cross in the closing stages of the first half and a great pass to find Vinicius Junior, who couldn’t beat Joe Hart, he left us not knowing what to expect from him in the second half. But Hazard did turn the heat up.
First, his ball found Fede Valverde, who brilliantly played the ball into acres of space, allowing Vini to quickly find the bottom right corner. The second goal was prime Hazard, the Hazard that destroyed teams when he featured for the Blues. He picked up the ball in the middle of the park, beat his man and drove the ball into the final third to set up the evergreen Luka Modric to finish with his unique type of brilliance.
A brilliant Toni Kroos pass found Dani Carvajal, who square played it to Eden Hazard, who found the net.
For Eden Hazard, it was never a case of Quality. Who in the world doubts Hazard’s Quality? He is a fantastic player. But fitness issues alongside the improvement of players like Vinicius JR and Rodrygo have sadly limited his playing time at Real Madrid.
He has not been the success we all expected him to be. But with Karim Benzema out on the sidelines for at least four weeks. It seems like Hazard will finally have a run of fixtures to properly back his claim that this season may genuinely be the season of Hazard. We hope it is; we pray it is.
The Benzema Situation
Karim Benzema is out with a thigh injury. Heis going to miss the games against Mallorca, Leipzig and Atletico Madrid. Failing to sign a Natural number nine in the just concluded summer transfer window may come back to bite Real Madrid in the Ass.
Unfortunately, Real Madrid does not have another Benzema on the team. We do not even have a player with similar qualities that can provide what Benzema provided, even on a smaller scale.
I am eager to see how Ancelotti continues this fine start to the season, especially when we play Atletico Madrid with sufficient Quality to punish us. The last time we had Benzema on the sidelines, We were destroyed four nil by a struggling Barcelona with Luka Modric playing as a false nine in an embarrassing sight to watch. What Ancelotti does this time is what I look forward to seeing.
Main image credit Embed from Getty Images