Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard believes that the club has ‘no excuses’ for its current form and that he and his team-mates need to stop allowing their opponents to score such easy goals.
The Belgian was speaking to the club’s official website about their back-to-back Premier League losses to Liverpool and Chelsea’s London rivals Arsenal. They both came on the back of the Blues’ 2-2 draw with Swansea City at The Liberty Stadium, meaning that they have taken just one point from the last nine available and have conceded seven goals in the process.
Chelsea conceded two goals in the first-half of their game against Liverpool before doing the same thing in an EFL Cup game against Leicester City last week and then conceding three in the opening 45 minutes against the Gunners. They managed to take the cup game against the defending Premier League champions into extra-time before going on to win 4-2 and they also pulled a goal back against Liverpool, but Hazard believes that their defensive lapses means the team is asking too much of the attacking players.
The Belgian said, “Every weekend at the moment we having to come back and score. We did it at Leicester [in the EFL cup] but against Arsenal, who were playing at home, it was not possible. They played well. We need to be better. In the last three games in the league there have been nine points available and we have got one”.
The fixtures don’t get much easier for Antonio Conte’s side, with a trip to The KC Stadium to face a Hull side that nearly took a point from Manchester United followed by a league game against Leicester and the arrival of United themselves to Stamford Bridge – including the return of former boss José Mourinho. They then have the London derby against West Ham United at The Olympic Stadium in the fourth round of the EFL Cup before facing an in-form Southampton to round off October.
Hazard believes that the team’s form needs to improve drastically if they’re hoping to take maximum points from the big games ahead of them. He said, “It is disappointing. We need to go away and work on what we are doing wrong ahead of the big matches that are coming up”.
Chelsea defender Gary Cahill made a mistake at the weekend that gifted a goal to Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez for the game’s opener last weekend before Hazard himself neglected to track the run of Gunners’ defender Hector Bellerin who crossed it in for their London rivals to score a second through Theo Walcott. Hazard knows that these are the sorts of mistakes that Chelsea need to cut out if they’re hoping to challenge for the title this year. He said, There are no excuses. It was not good. We lost too many duels. We came to win the match but we made mistakes, for the first goal, another for the second and then before we knew it we were already 3-0 down”.
His team-mate Nemanja Matic believes that the players have to realise that they’re playing for one of the biggest clubs in world football. They also need to listen to the club’s new head coach Antonio Conte as he tries to help them get their season back on track. The Italian enjoyed an excellent start to his managerial life at Stamford Bridge, winning his first three games in charge against the Hammers, Watford, Bristol Rovers in the EFL Cup and Burnley.
They have failed to get a win on the board since the international break, however, and Matic believes that the former Juventus and Italy national manager will have identified where the Blues are going wrong. He said, “We have to know we play for a big club and we have to recover as soon as possible and be focused on the next game. I’m sure the coach will see where the problem is”.