Mourinho: Hazard ‘doesn’t sacrifice himself for the team’
Jose Mourinho has appeared to criticise Eden Hazard, claiming that the Belgian does not sacrifice himself for the good of the team.
4 hours ago PA Sport
Hazard, Chelsea’s sparkling performer for much of the season, failed to track back to allow Atletico to equalise in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg and later said the Blues are set up to counter-attack, not to take the initiative in games.
The comments were interpreted as a slight on Mourinho’s tactics, which have been criticised of late, and coming from a player linked with Paris St Germain this summer, led to speculation over his future.
“I listened to the interview,” said Mourinho, whose side lost 3-1 to Atletico and play Norwich in the Premier League on Sunday.
“There was nothing critical in what he said. When the comments come from a player like Eden it’s normal because he’s not the kind of player to sacrifice himself for the team.
“Normally you get these kind of comments from players like him, from players that can’t resolve a problem like we had in the first goal.
“Eden is the kind of player that is not so mentally ready to look back to his left-back and to leave his life for him.
“If you see the first goal of Atletico you completely understand where the mistake was and why we conceded that goal.
“The perfect team at the top level cannot make these kinds of mistakes.”
Willian and Andre Schurrle performed selflessly on the left in Madrid and in the win at Liverpool, respectively, but Hazard’s error on his return from a calf injury was costly.
Adrian’s equaliser eight minutes after Fernando Torres had put Chelsea in front gave Atletico a crucial away goal and Mourinho’s men could not respond.
“Normally in this game if you go to half-time winning 1-0 the game is another game because Atletico have to chase the game,” Mourinho added.
Hazard has been praised for his defensive duties this term, but Mourinho insists he still has work to do.
“I’m not happy,” Mourinho said.
“I speak all season and I try to improve him all season.”