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Eden Hazard: Chelsea can still win the league despite recent setbacks

LONDON -- Eden Hazard has said he believes Chelsea are capable of winning the Premier League title despite their recent poor form.

Antonio Conte's side narrowly avoided a third successive defeat on Wednesday when Hazard's brace against Roma salvaged a 3-3 draw in the Champions League at Stamford Bridge.

But the domestic defeats to Manchester City and Crystal Palace that preceded it have left the title holders outside the Champions League places and already nine points behind leaders City.

Asked whether defending champions Chelsea were being left behind in the title race, Hazard said: "I don't agree with that.

"The difference between this year and last year is Manchester City and United are stronger. We are ready, we know the Premier League is long, so we have time to come back."

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Hazard was not only optimistic that Chelsea could close the gap on their rivals but also believes the side are close to the levels they played at last season.

"I think it's different this season because we play in the Champions League," he said.

"Last season, it was easier to play every game every week. We were fresh. Now it's different, but we need to adapt to the situation. We will give everything, but I think we're on the same level as last year.

"We have just two training sessions to focus on a game. Last year we had a whole week to be ready. So yes it's a little bit different, but we are professionals and we adapt quickly."

The draw with Roma puts more pressure on the return game in Italy. Chelsea top Group C on seven points, but Roma are just two points behind them.

Hazard said: "We should have won this game. We were 2-0 up at half-time, but a draw is not a bad result. We have to do better against Roma in Italy next time.

"It was just a draw -- we were not happy, but we were also happy that we didn't concede a third defeat in a row.

"We just want to move on, try to focus on the next game against Watford. We will try to give everything in the next game."

Nick Miller is a writer for ESPN FC, covering Premier League and European football. Follow him on Twitter @NickMiller79.


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