Hazard: I only take it easy on the training ground
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Liverpool’s Joe Gomez. Photo: PA
Eden Hazard like to take it easy, but only on the training pitch.
The mercurial Chelsea midfielder was sensational on Saturday as the Blues won a deserved point against Liverpool at Anfield.
Willian scored with a sublime angled chip from just inside the home side’s penalty area, cancelling out Mohamed Salah’s second half strike.
But it was the Belgium, who stole the show.
The downside is that he is inevitably the most fouled player on the pitch.
“I try to play my best in every game,” he said.
“We try to play our best. I think we deserved more. Okay, they had the ball, but we should have scored more. We created good chances.
But when I'm on the pitch I always try to take maximum pleasure.”
The much-marked man was a constant thorn in Liverpool’s side and as a result was hacked down constantly - was he ever frustrated?
“When I'm on the pitch I just try to give everything,” said the 26-year-old.
“I do everything for my body when I'm at the training ground. I know my body is strong and I am working on that. It is important I do. I'm lucky to have good health, I take good care of my body the best I can.
When I'm on the pitch I do receive kicks, but that is part of football and I'm not complaining. I get a lot of fouls, a lot on my ankle. It is part of football.”
When asked if he protects his legs in training, he said: “Do I protect my legs in training? Yes, yes, yes! To be fair, in training I don't give everything. When we have drills, some people go crazy, but I don't want to be kicked in training.
“I try to have a break. We don't have many breaks in the season, so I try in training to have more of a rest and then in the games I give everything.”
The match at Anfield was a war of attrition as neither side wanted to lose and fought on the counter-attack to snatch maximum points.
So was it two points dropped or one gained? Hazard, as ever takes the positives.
“I think it is a good point because when you are 1-0 down at Anfield, it is not easy to score goals there. We tried everything and brought new players onto the pitch and they made a difference at the end. We should have scored more goals but one here is always satisfying.
“At Liverpool, we changed the system, Danny Drinkwater was on the pitch and then we were a little bit more defensive. I saw that the only player around me was Alvaro (Morata) , so if we want to win the game we had to do something together, just me and him. That's why I tried to pass my opponent every time, and in the first half we did well. In the second half it was more complicated, but we scored so I am happy.”
That goal by Willian was a bit special, some people thinking it was an attempted cross - but the Brazilian insists it was deliberate - would Hazard have liked to have scored a goal like that?
“Yes of course’” he said.
“It was a good goal and it meant that we didn't lose the game. It was an important goal for us. When Willian is on the pitch he always tries to do something good.”