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 By Ian Holyman

Eden Hazard: Chelsea players have 'been talking about the title all season'

Eden Hazard has said the Chelsea players have been talking about winning the Premier League title "all season long", but told SFR Sport "it won't be easy."

Hazard, 25, struck his ninth goal of the season and the 50th of his Premier League career from the penalty spot in Chelsea's 3-0 Boxing Day win over Bournemouth.

The victory racked up a club record 12th consecutive success for Antonio Conte's men, who are seven points clear at the top ahead of Liverpool's home game with Stoke City on Tuesday.

That gap has led some to claim the title could return to Stamford Bridge again, just a season after they last triumphed under Jose Mourinho, but Hazard said the media were some way behind the topic of discussion inside the Blues' dressing room. 

"We have been talking about the title all season long. We always want to win at Chelsea. We're happy now. I hope we'll continue like this through to the end of the season," the Belgium international said.

"We're happy, we're winning matches, that's the important thing. We're top of the league, we have to stay there. We're happy. Everything's going well. We know it won't be easy all season, we hope it will be. But it's up to us to do our utmost for this run to continue."

Hazard drew praise from both Conte and opposition manager Eddie Howe for his display in the game in which he led the line in a false nine role in the absence of the suspended Diego Costa. 

"I felt good. During the week, I thought Michy [Batshuayi] would play there as Diego was suspended, but the coach chose me up front. I had already played there last season and a few minutes this one, so I already knew the position a bit and I did rather well," Hazard, whose side now face Stoke at home on New Year's Eve, said.

"It's an important period. We know that points will be dropped. It's up to us to pick up as many as possible. That's three, we play again in four days. It's up to us to continue like that."

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

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