You would not have known it by watching him, but Eden Hazard has told Chelsea’s official website that he was ‘a little bit scared’ as he lined up a penalty against Liverpool on Tuesday.
Having been brought down inside the box by a clumsy challenge from Emre Can, Hazard dusted himself down to take responsibility from the spot.
He calmly stroked the ball into the back of net, giving Chelsea an early advantage in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final clash with the Reds, but admits to experiencing nerves as he strode forward.
Standing between him and an important opener, which was eventually cancelled out by a fine solo effort from Raheem Sterling, was Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
Hazard says his fellow Belgian has denied him on several occasions in the past while away on international duty and would have been aware of what he had in mind.
It was, however, to be the Chelsea man that came out on top as he sent Mignolet the wrong way.
Hazard told his club’s official website: “Sometimes in training with Belgium Simon saves my penalties so I was a little bit scared but it was a goal and that was good.
“It was not our best performance and after they scored their goal it was difficult because they tried to score another one but they didn’t and that is good for the second game. A draw here is not bad.”
Chelsea had another Belgian shot-stopper to thank for ensuring that they head home on level terms, with Thibaut Courtois producing another Man of the Match performance at Anfield.
Jose Mourinho will feel that the advantage is now with his troops as they prepare for a return date at Stamford Bridge.
There is, however, still all to play for and it may be that composure from the spot is required again in west London, with a penalty shoot-out still a distinct possibility.