If we’re looking for positives from Wednesday’s midweek madness at the Bridge, the performance of Eden Hazard and, to a lesser extent, Álvaro Morata should be near the top of our list. The two front players combined very well once again, and while Morata was taking it a bit easy to ensure he survives the full 90 (and hopefully Saturday’s game against Watford as well) without a recurrence of the hamstring injury, Eden Hazard was giving it a full go from the very start until this withdrawal with about 15 minutes to go.
Incidentally, he was asked about that substitution in the mixed zone, with the question asking specifically whether it was “just a precaution” against any possible injuries or if it was tactical as well. To this, Hazard responded with “I don’t know, I don’t know”, which has largely been taking out of contest to insinuate some additional drama there between player and head coach, though Hazard makes it pretty clear that he simply doesn’t want to delve too much into this issue (probably because it isn’t an issue; or perhaps it is — if you’re into the whole speculation game).
"I don't know, I think sometimes the manager wants me on the bench at the end of the game. I pushed to the maximum and I just come back from the injury so he made his choice.
"Sometimes the guy who comes onto the pitch scores a goal so I have nothing to say about this.”
-Eden Hazard; Football.London
What Hazard did have plenty to say about was his 50 per cent satisfaction with the night overall. While it’s always nice to score goals, not winning the game wasn’t ideal. That said, Hazard remains confident that Chelsea can go far in this competition. And why shouldn’t he be — Chelsea have seven points halfway through the group stage and only need another couple good results to make it into the knockout rounds.
“I think for the fans it was a good game to watch but for Chelsea, it was like 50 per cent because when you are winning 2-0 at home, you must win the game.
“But Roma have good players and they created a lot of chances and a least we take one point and it is not a bad result. We stay first in the group and we will go to Rome to win the game because we want to finish the job early.
“It is not something I do a lot, score with my head but it is good just to score although when we win the game it is better. We played better at Atletico and we won the game and I did not score, and I prefer to play this kind of game, but for the confidence it is always good to score.
“We gave everything until the end of the game, maybe we should score another goal to win it but one point is enough after two defeats, it is not easy to bounce back against a great team but we did.
“After the game against Atletico which we won, the journalists and people were talking about Chelsea winning the Champions League but we know it is not easy, we face a lot of good teams in the competition - but we will see at the end. We are ready to go as far as possible.”
-Eden Hazard; source: Chelsea FC
As long as Hazard’s scoring and playing like he did on Wednesday, we can go far indeed.