UEFA : Eden Hazard was booed by his own supporters
It’s not been the greatest season for Eden Hazard. Whilst his fall from PFA Player of the Year to none existent entity on the pitch mirrored Chelsea’s demise from champions to relegation battlers in the early season he’s never really recovered unlike them.
The Belgian was part of the Chelsea team who crashed out of the Champions League tonight at Stamford Bridge thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paris Saint-Germain and despite not being at his worst the Chelsea number 10 still came in for a lot of criticism.
Hazard was spotted at half-time swapping shirts with Angel di Maria and it didn’t go down too well
Eden Hazard was booed by his own supporters and slammed by pundits
The misery for Hazard was compounded after his being targeted by his own fans as he limped off with a hip problem late on.
Hazard has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge in recent months; PSG known to be keen on the forward.
And Wednesday night’s episode will only serve to reinforce the growing feeling that Hazard could leave this summer.
And manager Guus Hiddink later insisted Blues fans were perfectly within their rights to jeer Hazard, who was also criticised by Roy Keane for swapping shirts with Angel Di Maria at half-time.
Indeed, Hiddink refused to defend Hazard in the face of his treatment by Blues fans, saying: ‘They have the right to boo whatever they think. One can always express what they are feeling.’
On the shirt-swapping incident, Hiddink added: ‘I haven’t seen it, but I’m aware of it.
‘I’m not saying I’m unaware. That’d be too easy, just to say I didn’t see it. Yeah, it should not be done, but in some countries it’s usual you do it, and not after the game.’
Pundits Keane and Lee Dixon were less than impressed by Hazard’s shirt-swapping decision as they labelled it as ‘shocking’.
Keane told ITV: ‘I’m afraid to comment on this. It’s bad enough at the end of the game. Half time in a big game.
‘What has to be going through a player’s mindset in such a big game? You’re thinking about swapping jerseys at half-time? I wouldn’t even bother swapping shirts at the end of the game? At half-time? Shocking.’
Dixon, like the former Ireland midfielder, condemned the incident: ‘If you’re going to do that, do it down the tunnel where no one can see. Doing it on the pitch? What does that say? That says to me that Hazard is getting a little collection before he leaves and goes somewhere else.’
The result means Chelsea are almost certain to miss out on Champions League for the first time in 13 seasons.
And Hiddink admits it’s difficult to predict when the Blues will be back amongst Europe’s elite.
‘It’s my opinion that Chelsea are in a transition period. They have to see how they go on and try and regain the lost terrain where Chelsea used to be, that’s true,’ he said.
‘It’s difficult to get into fourth position. We’ll try and do our first job, to get out of the relegation zone, but it was a very big gap to go and reach the top four and the Champions League places.
‘Chelsea must consider it’s short-term future, how to handle this. But they’ve known this for a while.’
In a further blow, Diego Costa is set to miss this weekend’s FA Cup clash against Everton after injuring his thigh on Wednesday night.
The Spain international was a huge doubt going into the clash against PSG, but Hiddink risked the striker given the magnitude of the night.
‘We’ll see if there’s big damage, but he was desperate to play, although not 100 per cent fit, but he was desperate.’
Source : Daily Mail