Chelsea's Eden Hazard dropped for Europa League game to manage minutes

Florence Fletcher
September 20, 2018

Maurizio Sarri on squad rotation and Eden Hazard: "I don't know now because I want to have a very clear picture of the situation, who are the players who need to rest or not". "Under Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte they won Premier Leagues but sat off teams, which is not a problem, they were successful at it, but this is different".

Chelsea also made it five wins from as many games under Maurizio Sarri thanks to the brilliance of Eden Hazard, who scored a hat-trick in a convincing 4-1 win over Cardiff to edge ahead of Liverpool on goal difference.

'Kovacic it is better to have rest with the little injury. "But spend less energy far from the goal and play in the last 25 metres". The 32-year-old put in a brilliant defensive display as Liverpool beat Tottenham at Wembley. Fernandinho starred in Manchester City's 3-0 victory against newly promoted Watford at the Etihad. Guardiola has been reportedly keen to improve Sane's attitude, but the same can't be said for Bernardo Silva.

But the Spanish midfielder returned to training last week after struggling with a knee injury.

He singled out Marouane Fellaini and Romelu Lukaku for praise and even spoke warmly of the match officials when asked about the late sending-off of Nemanja Matic.

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"We know very well that Chelsea is one of the best teams in the world and in this moment they are going through a very good period", he said.

And he drew a laugh when he joked about goal-scorer Chris Smalling's new haircut. In the last two weeks I have seen four matches of Cardiff and four matches of PAOK Salonika and for me, yesterday [Saturday] I thought Giroud was more suitable for this match [against Cardiff] and Morata more suitable for the other.

"Eden Hazard, because he told me after the national team and the match against Cardiff he was a little bit exhausted, so I thought it was better to stay at Cobham, to have training and rest". The west London side were Champions League winners in 2012 and Europa League winners in 2013 - in the Roman Abramovich era, being involved in European competition after Christmas has become the norm.

The Blues have averaged just under three goals a game domestically, winning all five of their fixtures. Belgian midfielder Omar El Kaddouri also played at Napoli under Sarri and alongside Jorginho. "I am convinced and the players are convinced".

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