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'I don't care about manager's criticism,' says Eden Hazard after inspiring Chelsea to semi-final win



'I don't care about manager's criticism,' says Eden Hazard after inspiring Chelsea to semi-final win


Chelsea's Eden Hazard insisted he had ignored recent criticism from his manager as he expressed delight at inspiring his side to the Carabao Cup final.

Hazard struck the crucial second goal and was by some way his side's best player as Chelsea eventually overcame Tottenham on penalties to secure a Wembley date against Manchester City.

A stirring display from the Real Madrid transfer target came just days after Maurizio Sarri questioned his leadership qualities, and accused the whole team of being "extremely difficult to motivate".

Asked whether he was angered by criticism, Hazard said: "I don't care. I just play my football. It doesn't matter what the manager said. I just focus on my football and want to do my best for this team."

Sarri, who was one of the first top-flight managers to receive a yellow card for dissent under recent EFL rule changes, was gushing in his praise for Hazard's "wonderful" performance.


He joked that he was so pleased about the team's efforts that he did care who won on penalties. When asked about his previous attack on their motivational qualities, he added: “I think that they reacted really very well... but I didn't attack my players. I only said that we had a problem. The reaction was really very good, but I think we need to have motivation with continuity now.”

Sarri said the performance resolved the team's recent problems. "A problem was the motivation, and the other problem was that the players stopped to have fun on the pitch. So I think that now, with this performance and the result, we can find again enthusiasm. So it's very important.”

Hazard, he said, "played fantastically, a wonderful match”. When asked why he had moved removed him from the 'false nine', he added: “I think the position is not a big problem. I think in this match, we played with another mind. With another motivation. With another determination. So I think that his qualities are more important than his position.”

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