eden hazard

Eden Hazard was replaced with Pedro Rodriguez in the 73rd minute of Manchester United’s 2-1 home victory over Chelsea, and this substitute decision has been the source of much speculation and criticism.

Shortly after Chelsea manager Antonio Conte subbed Hazard off, Jesse Lingard scored the game winning goal off a Romelu Lukaku cross. Eden Hazard and Willian had been having their way with United in the first half, as Hazard assisted on Willian’s 32’ goal which opened the match’s scoring.

eden hazard

Romelu Lukaku, scoring his first goal against a side in the top eight this season, equalized seven minutes later. Many wondered why Eden Hazard, one of Chelsea’s best players, and one putting in a solid performance on the pitch this day, would come out early. After all, the Chelsea forward is so dangerous that Jose Mourinho even man-marked him with Ander Herrera in last year’s meeting. 

If he’s not injured, then why is he coming off? The move incited a lot of criticism. Conte was asked if his Belgian forward was hurt.

”It was a tactical decision. We have to keep the same performance for 90 minutes,” Conte responded.

“Otherwise we don’t have a great balance. Every single player has to work with the ball, without the ball, otherwise we lose our balance and the game.

“I think he finished his energy. In the first half he ran a lot. In the second half he started the same way but when I see a player is a bit tired, my task is to find a different solution.”

jose mourinho antonio conte

Apparently, it was just an issue of fatigue; but that answer might just end up raising more questions. 

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.


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