Sunday proved yet another frustrating night match for Chelsea fans as they saw their team fail to put up a fight in their 1-0 loss to Manchester City. The lack of work rate from the players was one of the major criticisms of the Blues’ performance but their star man has chosen something else to pick out after the weak showing.
Eden Hazard has spoken out about his lack of input in the game as he was deployed in the ‘false nine’ position with Antonio Conte choosing to leave Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud on the bench. In a post-match interview, the Belgium international said: “We could have played on for three hours and I wouldn’t touch a ball.” This might be conceived as a criticism of the lack of quality shown by his teammates but it was instead aimed at his Italian boss.
Willian below-par but isolated
It isn’t the first time that Conte has come under fire for his “anti-football” tactics, where his side have failed to show attacking intent. In a game against the league leaders, it is vital not to give too much but it is just as important to put them under pressure at every available opportunity. They completed the former for the majority of the match but the latter wasn’t executed at all. Chelsea were wasteful with their rare counter-attacks and on a couple of occasions, it was their hero of the last few weeks that misplaced passes.
Willian wasn’t up to his top-drawer best but like Hazard, he was largely isolated with very little time on the ball. Of the three attacking players, Pedro was by far the worst and offered nothing for the current champions in a game where he could have impressed his former mentor and manager, Pep Guardiola. It was a day to forget for the visitors but comments like those from Eden Hazard will be worrying, especially with the talk of a summer move away from Stamford Bridge.