Jose Mourinho leaps to the defence of Eden Hazard after Chelsea’s cup exit
Jose Mourinho leaps to the defence of Eden Hazard after Chelsea's League Cup exit at Stoke City
Jose Mourinho insisted that Eden Hazard was not to blame for Chelsea’s League Cup exit at the hands of Stoke City on Tuesday night, despite the Belgian playmaker missing the crucial spot-kick in the penalty shootout.
The Potters took the lead in the 52nd minute of the fourth-round clash when Jon Walters was allowed to turn on the edge of the box and fire in off the crossbar.
Loic Remy drilled in a stoppage-time equaliser, before Stoke’s Phil Bardsley was sent off for two bookings.
Neither side was able to find the breakthrough in extra-time, and Stoke eventually triumphed 5-4 on penalties after Hazard missed the decisive penalty.
However, Mourinho refused to place the blame Hazard for the defeat and insisted that he was happy with how his side played against Mark Hughes’ men at the Britannia Stadium.
Mourinho told his post-match news conference: “He [Hazard] is our best penalty taker but the last thing I do is to blame.
“If I have to blame someone it is the ones who tell the manager I don’t want to take it and run away.
“It is more difficult when you play very bad and lose than when you play well and lose. I think they [Chelsea’s players] go with sadness but with a positive feeling.
“How can they go home with lack of confidence? Lack of confidence, why? They played well.”
Chelsea, who have lost eight of their 16 games this season, now turn their attentions to their Premier League showdown with Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Saturday lunchtime.