Eden Hazard on Chelsea FC Champions League reunion: ‘It’s always good to play against friends’

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Tom Doyle
·2-min read
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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Eden Hazard is working hard to regain fitness ahead of a huge run-in for Real Madrid after coming off the bench to face “friends” from his former club Chelsea on Tuesday evening.

Christian Pulisic’s fine strike handed Chelsea a 1-1 Uefa Champions League semi-final first leg draw in Madrid on a sodden night where Timo Werner spurned two gilt-edged chances.

Karim Benzema’s peerless exhibition of clinical marksmanship rescued the draw for a Real side muddled by a change of formation and the Blues’ technical and tactical acumen.

Hazard - who has been beset by injury problems since swapping Chelsea for Madrid in a huge transfer back in 2019 - came off the bench just after the hour-mark at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, but could not find a winner for Real.

The result means Real will need to score in west London in the return leg to stand any chance of reaching a final against either Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain.

Real are also fighting for domestic glory, with Zidane’s men two points off LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid.

Following the draw with Chelsea, Hazard told BT Sport: “We have to go there to try to win the game.

“It’s always good to play against friends - I have a couple over there - but now I’m a Real Madrid player, I just want to win.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s against Chelsea or another team.”

Real struggled with a three-man defence in the opening exchanges, and were fortunate to not be out of the game - and the tie itself - before Benzema levelled.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Los Blancos tightened up in defence and midfield in the second half, and Hazard added: "The manager decides what formation we play, we know how to play with three at the back but we can also play with four."

Additional reporting by PA.

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