Eden Hazard’s personal highlights against Portugal makes for a compelling watch

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Eden Hazard having a light moment during his masterclass display against Portugal

Belgium progressed into the quarter-finals of the 2020 European Championship after securing a 1-0 win over Portugal in their Round of 16 encounter in Seville on Sunday.

A Thorgan Hazard screamer in the first half was enough to help the Red Devils progress into the next round of the competition, as the Borussia Dortmund winger stole the spotlight with a pulsating 25-yard strike that proved to be the winner.

But despite Thorgan Hazard’s goalscoring heroics, it was the other Hazard in the Belgian ranks who shone in a display that was truly reminiscent of his best years.

Belgian skipper and Thorgan’s elder brother Eden rolled back the years with an inspiring individual performance that marked his return to form for his country – after being largely sidelined by recurring injuries for the best part of two years.

The Real Madrid man has never been able to live up to his expectations bestowed on him since his 2019 move from Chelsea, and injuries meant that he was anonymous for club and country for quite a while. But Hazard truly turned on the heat in Seville, as he proved to be one of the best Belgian performers on the night.

Hazard was quick with his twists and turns and proved to be too hot to handle for Portugal all night long, as his signature low centre of gravity caused all sorts of problems for the Selecao.

Hazard’s ball retention looked better than it has in a long time, as he completed more dribbles (4) than any player on the pitch. He was influential in keeping the ball as far away from the Belgian goal as possible, while Portuguese defenders did not fuss to chop him down at the first time of asking – Hazard was fouled more times (4) than any player.

His individual highlights proved to be a compelling watch before he had to go off with a hamstring injury. But the job was already done, and Hazard would hope that he is back in time to face Italy in the EURO 2020 quarter-finals.

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By Surjit Patowary

Extremely passionate, detail-oriented when it comes to football. Obsessed with the news. Fact-checking is life!

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