Eden Hazard missed a late penalty in Chelsea’s Champions League match at Maribor on Wednesday night, as Jose Mourinho’s side were held to a 1-1 draw by the Slovenian champions.
The Group G minnows, who were thrashed 6-0 at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago, took the lead on 50 minutes through Agim Ibraimi’s fantastic curler, before Nemanja Matic equalised from Cesc Fabregas’s corner 13 minutes later to provide the stage for a comeback win.
Hazard looked set to earn the visitors three points four minutes before the end, when Mitja Viler tripped him in the area, but the Belgian’s weak spot-kick produced a solid save from Jasmin Handanovic to hand Maribor a famous point.
Nevertheless, Mourinho was quick to defend the winger after the match, insisting that he was the side’s standout performer on the night.
‘When a player plays as well as Eden Hazard did – for me he was absolutely fantastic, by far the best player in my team – he can miss a penalty and still be the best player in my team,’ he told Sky Sports.
|Total Shots||Shot Acc||Key Passes||Total Passes||Pass Acc||Total Dribbles||Dribble Acc||Duels Won||Mins Played|
‘In the last 30 minutes we played really intensely and creatively with big desire to win, we had lots of chances to do it, but the goalkeeper was magnificent.
‘We created lots of chances and the goalkeeper was really, really good.’
Fans seemed to agree with their manager judging by their reaction on Twitter, with many quick to hail his overall impact, despite a few critical remarks regarding his end product.
Hazard always have brilliant performances, but his finishing is poor, the 1v1 against utd and tonight also. #cfc— Ginger Mourinho (@eagleathebridge) November 5, 2014
Despite the penalty miss,hazard was dazzling as usual,his finshing needs improvement tho #cfc— **SAM** (@proud_blue) November 5, 2014
Hazard needs to finish those to be considered a 'Ronaldo' or 'Messi'. Too many times he has squandered one on ones. #CFC— James Moore (@moorsey1907) November 5, 2014
Hazard was superb today....he is allowed one mistake now and then #CFC— Palm Wine Tapper (@IGWE__1) November 5, 2014
Hazard was our best player, sad cause he missed ... we could win this game, we deserved to win this game #CFC— André (@Cfc_Dre) November 5, 2014
Can't blame hazard for that miss, he has rescued us on many occasion #CFC— Palm Wine Tapper (@IGWE__1) November 5, 2014
Hazard deserved so much more this game! Roll on Saturday! #cfc— ClewsyXO (@ClewsyOVOXO) November 5, 2014
He missed that pen but boy was he outstanding. Eden Hazard is special #CFC— Lita David (@I_Am_Bailunda) November 5, 2014
Fact is, Hazard has been carrying us in the last few weeks. #CFC— SW6 News ® (@SW6News) November 5, 2014
Put hazard in either barca or Madrid team And the word "overrated" will suddenly disappear...must you play for them to be rated highly #CFC— [FLEMZEEY] CFC (@_flemzeey) November 5, 2014