Ahead of the game, it’s fair to say that Maurizio Sarri’s cutting remarks relating to Eden Hazard might well have had a detrimental effect on the Belgian’s game.
The remarks, as covered by Vital Chelsea, Click Here, weren’t in our opinion, designed to motivate our jewel-in-the-crown.
But, far from affecting Hazard’s game in a negative way, the Belgian went on to give a barnstorming display where he was head and shoulders above any other player on the pitch.
Restored to his favoured position, with Olivier Giroud playing as the central striker, Hazard was at his best, running with the ball and displaying his usual dazzling array of skills with his performance being capped by a wonderful finish to put Chelsea 2-0 up.
When it came to the penalty shoot-out, Hazard, Chelsea’s normal penalty taker, wasn’t needed as the game was won before we got to the crucial fifth penalty.
After the game, talking to Sky Sports and as reported by the BBC, Eden had this to say about the game:
“It is always good to bounce back after a tough game. Today we did well for 90 minutes. We controlled the game in the first half. They had one chance and scored. At the end we go through to the final so tonight we are happy.”
Yes, ecstatic is the word that comes to mind.
Continuing, Hazard was asked about the criticism he shipped, from Sarri, with Hazard further adding:
“I don’t care. I just play my football. It doesn’t matter what the manager said. I just focus on my football and want to do my best for this team.”
Water off a ducks’ back springs to mind.
But, for the final say, we couldn’t ignore a wonderful one-liner from Sarri who when pressed on how Hazard performed, remarked:
“Very good, especially for 65 minutes. Wonderful.”
It was wonderful, worth the admission money alone.
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