Midfielder Eden Hazard admitted his Chelsea team do not go out to "play football", following the Premier League club's Champions League exit at the hands of Atletico Madrid.
The Belgium international made the comments in an interview for French television after Chelsea's 3-1 defeat to the Spanish side at Stamford Bridge.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho had been heavily criticised in the build-up to the match for his ultra-defensive set-up in the first leg in Madrid, which ended in a goalless draw, and during their 2-0 domestic league win over Liverpool at the weekend.
The performance at Anfield led Liverpool manager Brendon Rodgers to claim Chelsea had parked not one, but two buses in front of their goal, alluding to a comment made by Mourinho back in 2004 when Tottenham employed a similarly frustrating strategy against Chelsea during a Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge.
Against Atletico in the second leg in London, Mourinho did little to refute accusations that his brand of spoiling football is too negative, sending out a back four, plus two more defensive-minded players in David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta. It was an undisguised attempt to keep things tight at the back and hit their opponents on the break, despite playing at home.
The tactics led Hazard, who played on the left of a front three behind lone striker Fernando Torres, to say: "Chelsea are not made to play football, Chelsea are made to play on the counter."
He added in the interview with beIN Sports: "I don't know what we lacked. After scoring, we had the game in our hands. Maybe they wanted it more than we did. It was an intense game, beautiful to watch with opportunities.
"I'm sad but logic has been respected because they deserved to qualify.
"We did it well tonight since we scored. But their goal hurt us before the break. We failed to make the difference in the second half. Often, I'm asked to do it all by myself and it's not easy. It was a complicated game. It will be a lesson for us regarding next year."
Hazard en direct sur beIN SPORTS : "Chelsea n'est pas fait pour jouer au foot, Chelsea est fait pour jouer en contre" #CheAtl
— beIN SPORTS (@beinsports_FR) April 30, 2014
Torres opened the scoring for Chelsea against his old club, but goals from Adrian, Diego Costa and Arda Turan gave Atleti a 3-1 win on the night and set up an all-Madrid final against neighbours Real in Lisbon.
Mourinho, beaten in the semi-finals for the fourth successive season, may be left to reconsider his approach.
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- Jose Mourinho
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