[QODLink]
Football
Hazard not afraid of English hazards
Chelsea's new recruit Eden Hazard earned plaudits for performance against Wigan but faced a few fouls along the way.
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2012 15:04
Wigan's Ivan Ramis (R) conceded a penalty after his challenge on Hazard (2nd L) on Sunday [Reuters]

Chelsea forward Eden Hazard insists there is no chance he will be kicked out of his stride by the Premier League's boot boys.

Hazard delivered a superb display on his Chelsea debut against Wigan on Sunday as the Belgian created Branislav Ivanovic's opening goal and then won the penalty that Frank Lampard converted minutes later to seal a 2-0 victory.

It was a dazzling introduction to one of the best young playmakers in Europe, but Hazard also saw the ugly side of English football when he was on the receiving end of some brutal tackles.

Hazard, signed from Lille for $50.2m in pre-season, was clattered by several Wigan players, including captain Gary Caldwell, who was booked for one particularly late challenge.

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo decided 64 minutes of punishment was enough for his new playmaker before substituting him at the DW Stadium.

'A lot to do'

But Hazard shrugged off his treatment afterwards, insisting it was no worse than he had suffered playing for Lille or against Manchester City in last weekend's Community Shield.

"I already had a taste of these kind of tackles in the Community Shield," he said.

"I was kicked quite a bit in the first half against Wigan but, in France, it was already like that for me.

"I wasn't aware I was the most fouled player in the match, I wasn't counting them.

"At the start of the game, you could see the way I play and the most important thing is I'm not injured."

"I wasn't aware I was the most fouled player in the match, I wasn't counting them"

Chelsea player Eden Hazard

While Hazard earned glowing reviews for his virtuoso performance, he refused to get carried away with his own contribution, pointing out he did not have the same impact after winning the penalty that put Chelsea 2-0 up.

"There are still a lot of things I can do better," he said.

"I lost a lot of balls in the second half, but I contributed what was asked of me. 

"I was asked to be decisive and I was, with the penalty and an assist."

Hazard was nevertheless pleased with how he slotted in alongside Juan Mata, with both playing just off Fernando Torres.

"I started as the number 10 and then afterwards with Mata, we tried to interchange positions rather than stay in the same place and I think we worked rather well," he said.

439

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.