Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard has hailed the influence that N’Golo Kante has had on Antonio Conte’s title-chasing team this season.
The Blues are 10 points clear at the Premier League summit with 11 games to play and face Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Monday.
After Monday’s Premier League win at West Ham, Hazard joked it felt at times like there were two Kantes and that the France midfielder had a twin.
The understated Kante said: “Thank you for the compliment. I’m single, but we work together for a win. Me and all the team, we have to defend together. I give my best for the team.”
Hazard, speaking to Chelsea TV, added: “We have to work, even if he’s one of the best players in his position. We have to defend, because the manager wants that.
“(But) it’s true sometimes we say ‘I don’t defend now, because N’Golo is there’.”
That allows Hazard and the more forward-thinking Chelsea players to thrive, and Hazard used a running analogy to describe the comparison between the players.
The Belgium playmaker added: “If we have to do a marathon – he will win for sure. He can run 10 hours. I can run 10 metres, then I’m tired.”
As for Chelsea’s trophy hopes this season, Hazard added: “We’re going to try to win everything.
“It’s not going to be easy, but we’re going to train and work hard to win these two things.
“We are at a club where every year you have to win something. We can win both the cup and the league. We will give everything.
“We have 11 games to play in the league. We hope we can win as soon as possible the league.
“And the cup is a bonus, but it’s a good bonus.”