Premier League talking points

1. HAZARD THE BLUES' FULCRUM

An ankle injury suffered during the close season meant Eden Hazard did not make his first league start until the last day of September, but having been gently eased back into action by Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, he is now back to his devastating best.

He was head and shoulders above everyone else on the pitch in Chelsea's 1-1 draw at Liverpool. The Belgian fully exploited his licence to roam in support of lone striker Alvaro Morata by dropping deep to gather the ball before weaving past befuddled defenders, with his touch so sure, precise and uncanny.

Conte opted for a 3-5-1-1 system, meaning an extra central midfielder played instead of a wide forward like Pedro and Willian, but thanks to the irrepressible Hazard, Chelsea's counter-attacking play still brimmed with menace.

2. MORENO HAS KLOPP'S TRUST

Jurgen Klopp raised eyebrows by making five changes to the Liverpool team that started Saturday's draw with Chelsea, yet perhaps the biggest surprise was that one of those changes did not involve Alberto Moreno.

The full-back was poor in the 3-3 draw with Sevilla, leading to calls for him to be dropped immediately.

But Klopp came out in support of the player and kept him in his team for the visit of the English champions - and rightly so.

Moreno has improved this season and one bad display does not undo that. As it turned out, Moreno played well against Chelsea, showing his good form was not a flash in the pan and that he has greater mental fortitude than he is given credit for.

3. YOUNG PROVIDES WIDTH

Ashley Young joined Manchester United from Aston Villa in 2011 as a flying winger, but has reinvented himself as a left wing-back and has forced his way into Jose Mourinho's starting line-up.

While never a prolific goalscorer for United, Young gives the team an extra attacking dimension, as shown on Saturday when his shot midway through the second half found its way into Brighton's net via a cruel deflection to clinch the 1-0 victory.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2017, with the headline 'Premier League talking points'. Print Edition | Subscribe