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‘Liverpool are on fire!’ - Hazard in awe of Salah, Mane & Reds but on the fence in title race

3:59 PM IST 14/04/19
Eden Hazard Chelsea
The Belgian has already netted on two occasions against the Reds this season and will be aiming to make three from three on Sunday

Eden Hazard has applauded Liverpool's "fantastic" form heading into Sunday's clash with Chelsea at Anfield, but says the Blues "don't care" if the Reds beat Manchester City in the title race.

The west London club famously seemed to take pleasure from their 2014 triumph over Liverpool in which they put a huge, and ultimately significant, dent in their rival’s title bid.

Jose Mourinho memorably ran down the touchline after Chelsea scored their second goal that afternoon, but Hazard has stated there will be no such outpourings of emotions should his side win at Anfield this time around.

"I think they have been on fire for two years, not just this season," the Belgian attacker told Chelsea’s official website

"But City, they are there as well. [Liverpool] are a fantastic team to watch, I think the manager is great, they have players who are some of the best in the world, so it’s going to be a good game, a hard one, but it’s always hard at Anfield. But we are Chelsea, we can beat anyone, so we will see.

"We want to win because we want to finish in the top four. We don’t care about who can win the title between City and Liverpool, we want to go there and try to win the game for ourselves."

As Hazard alluded to, Chelsea are the midst of a battle to secure a Champions League spot next season and three points on Sunday would see them move back above Tottenham and into third place.

"We have five games to play," said the 28-year-old. "Of course, it is hard to be in the top four because we are not the only team.

"Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United, they are good, they all want to be in the top four, so we still have a lot of games to play and not easy games, but at the end we are Chelsea.

"If we want we can beat anyone, so now we are in the top four and we want to finish there at the end of the season."

Should Chelsea miss out on a top four spot, next season would be the second year in a row that the Blues have not participated in Europe’s elite competition. That, according to Hazard, is not an option.

"We have to qualify – that’s it, that simple," he said. "We want to play in the Champions League next season so the only solution is to be in the top four or win the Europa League.

"It’s not just about me. The club has to be in the Champions League. We miss the Champions League this season, so for the fans, for the board, for the players, the staff, this club has to be in the Champions League every year.

"But in the Premier League you never know how many teams can be in the top-four race, six or seven, so it is a hard challenge, but we can do it.

"Every year is different, every year is hard, but I think the Premier League is getting harder every year. But at the end the target is always the same, to win something and then play Champions League next season."