Eden Hazard produced a man-of-the-match performance as Chelsea progressed to the FA Cup final with a 2-0 victory over Southampton.
Hazard laid on the opening goal for Olivier Giroud before substitute Alvaro Morata ensured Antonio Conte’s side a final meeting with Manchester United next month.
Hazard was outstanding again, once more underlining his importance to Chelsea.
Hazard lined up on the left of the Blues’ three-pronged attack but, as expected, often drifted inside looking to influence proceedings. He repeatedly looked for the ball to feet and, along with Willian on the opposite wing, was tasked with supplying ammunition for central striker Giroud.
He proved to be a constant headache for Southampton’s back line every time he got on the ball and was Chelsea’s most dangerous attacking player. His strong run and neat pass early on led to Willian clipping the crossbar and he later created the opener for Giroud following superb control to bring down a searching ball forward.
In addition to his link-up play, Hazard repeatedly took the pressure off his team after they went in front. He won a series of free-kicks high up the pitch in the second half, three of which led to bookings for Southampton players.
Hazard had the game’s first sight of goal, turning away from Mario Lemina and unleashing a powerful drive which whistled over the crossbar. Minutes after the opener, he curled narrowly wide of the right post and he later forced Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy to tip over.
Deservedly named man of the match, Hazard was the stand-out performer. He ran purposefully and powerfully with the ball, gave Saints plenty to think about, and played a key role in the opening goal after a tight opening period.