• Champions League

Hazard hits out at Mourinho's tactics

ESPN staff
May 1, 2014
Mourinho: We lost to a very good team

Eden Hazard has put himself on a collision course with Jose Mourinho after becoming the latest critic of the Chelsea manager's negative tactics.

The midfielder spoke out after his team were knocked out of the Champions League on Wednesday night by Atletico Madrid thanks to a 3-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge .

Hazard, who has been persistently linked with a summer move to Paris Saint-Germain, claimed he was the only Chelsea player to be given creative responsibilities by Mourinho, who has punished him once already this season for missing training.

Eden Hazard said he is "asked to do it all by myself" in Jose Mourinho's game plan © AP

"I don't know what we lacked," Hazard told beIN Sports' French station. "After scoring, we had the game in our hands. Maybe they wanted it more than we did. It was an intense game, beautiful to watch with opportunities. I'm sad but logic has been respected because [Atletico] deserved to qualify.

"Chelsea is not made to play football. We're good on the counter, a little bit like Real against Bayern. Often, I'm asked to do it all by myself and it's not easy. "

Mourinho forgave Hazard for his ill-discipline earlier this season, claiming he was "a good kid" and the 23-year-old later claimed to have learnt from the episode.

It will be interesting to see how the Chelsea manager reacts this time after coming under fire in recent weeks for his defensive tactics.

The attacks followed Mourinho's approach to the semi-final first leg at Atletico Madrid and the Premier League win at Liverpool last weekend.

Even on Wednesday night, Liverpool's Spanish defender Jose Enrique could not resist several vitriolic tweets during the match. He wrote "Vamos! Vamos!" after Atletico's equaliser, before adding "Yes!" when they took the lead.

After the result he was more damning of Chelsea's performance:

Hazard managed just three shots with two on target on Wednesday. He was beaten twice by Atletico right-back Juanfran in attacks that led to two goals, but the Belgian bemoaned a lack of assistance.

"Their goal hurt us before the break," he said. "We failed to make the difference in the second half. It was a complicated game. It will be a lesson for us regarding next year."

Jose Mourinho introduced the term "parking the bus" into English football nearly a decade ago while complaining about Tottenham's defensive tactics. Now he's regarded as the ultimate exponent of that approach, sitting players back and waiting to counter.

His team failed to score in a drab goalless draw in the first draw against Atletico, but the same tactics worked brilliantly in a 2-0 defeat of Premier League leaders Liverpool on Sunday - after which Brendan Rodgers said they "parked two buses" before, according to Mourinho, apologising and going back on what he had said.

Mourinho stuck by his philosophy last week, saying "Atletico were frustrated", while ahead of the second leg he said anyone who believes refusing to play your strengths in a good approach is "stupid".

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close