Monday 27 August 2012
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo believes all of his players deserve credit for the club's unbeaten start to the new season despite Eden Hazard once again grabbing the headlines in a 2-0 win at home to Newcastle.
The Blues returned to the top of the Barclays Premier League thanks to a third win in a week. Summer signing Hazard opened the scoring from the penalty spot and then provided an assist for Fernando Torres to seal the points in first-half stoppage time.
"Thanks to the team Hazard has been able to slide in and play very comfortably with the others"
Roberto Di Matteo
The Belgium international has been central to the wins over Newcastle, Reading and Wigan and Torres has started to look more like the club record signing brought in from Liverpool in January 2011, but Di Matteo said: "It's not just them two, they have a good link-up with [Juan] Mata and the other midfield players."
He added: "Thanks to the team Hazard has been able to slide in and play very comfortably with the others.
"I know you focus on the goalscorers but I think it was a good performance considering it was our third game in six days. The demand was high playing against tough opposition today."
Torres, 28, was brought down for the penalty and scored a tremendous goal from the edge of the area and the Italian tactician is pleased that he has started to add goals to his game once more.
"He was very important for us last season, maybe not scoring as much but providing and working hard for the team," he said. "He is a great team player as well but it is great to see him scoring and the second goal I think was terrific play from us."
Di Matteo was without captain John Terry due to a neck injury and the Italian was therefore forced to name a third different central-defensive partnership in succession, but he was pleased with the efforts of David Luiz and Gary Cahill and the defensive performance as a whole.
"That was important today," he said. "I thought we controlled their threat very well, we didn't concede much to them because if you give space and time to [Demba] Ba, [Papiss] Cisse, [Hatem] Ben Arfa or [Yohan] Cabaye they can hurt you."