ONE WINNER

Philippe Coutinho v Eden Hazard – who won the battle on Saturday?

The Liverpool and Chelsea stars faced off at the weekend... but there was only one winner

As a Liverpool fan I’ll be gutted when Philippe Coutinho eventually leaves for Barcelona.

The brilliant Brazilian has captured the hearts and minds of Reds supporters all over the world with some dazzling displays in recent years.

But for once it wasn’t Coutinho who left me purring on Saturday.


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Reuters
Coutinho has been Liverpool’s best player since Luis Suarez left

Liverpool’s entertaining draw with Chelsea was really only about one man, despite the best efforts of Mohamed Salah against his former club.

Eden Hazard terrorised and toyed with a shaky Liverpool defence for the full 90 minutes, only to be let down a number of times by his inferior team-mates.

The Belgian is back to his blistering best now after a season curtailed by the broken ankle he suffered in the summer.

EPA
Hazard was brilliant at Anfield

And that’s a daunting prospect for defences across Europe.

Hazard’s international compatriot Kevin De Bruyne has deservedly taken most of the plaudits this season, with many tipping him for the major PFA Player of the Year gong come May.

But no player comes close to the inspired moments Hazard can turn on at the flick of a switch.

Hazard’s record in the bigger games also speaks for itself.

Reuters
The only way to stop him

In the last 18 months he’s scored against Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal.

If Liverpool can reject a £120m plus bid from Barcelona for Coutinho, I dread to think what Chelsea could turn down for Hazard.

On Saturday only one of the two creative geniuses on show came to the fore while the other was marshalled out of the game.

Reuters
Hazard outshone Coutinho on Saturday

Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane still hold an interest and the winger has consistently fluttered his eyelashes at the European champions in recent seasons.

And on the weekend’s evidence, Real are going after the right man.


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