Real Madrid: Four takeaways from a well-deserved loss to Chelsea

Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Eden Hazard, Zinedine Zidane
Real Madrid, Eden Hazard, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) /

Eden Hazard flopped

Look, I don’t want to hear any ridiculous hot takes about Eden Hazard, nor do I want to engage in some dialogue about his transfer fee or overall status at Real Madrid. The guy only made one start since returning from injury and has never played a full 90 this season. Our hopes of him having a big game against Chelsea were all wistfully based on some revenge narrative that Hazard himself probably doesn’t care about.

But we can’t mince words here. We have to be 100 percent honest in our analysis and evaluations at all times. Hazard was dreadful. He may have been the worst player on the pitch, even, though Vinicius Junior at right wing back probably tips the balance.

Aside from one nice turn early in the game that drew a tactical foul from Jorginho, I can scarcely recall a positive from his performance.

What annoys me the most is what he did off the ball. Go run the tape back. You’ll see Hazard barely moving around and trying to command the ball. That matters because he is supposed to be the man on the ball, taking it to defenders in one-on-ones, and trying to make things happen by combining with teammates. He looked like he didn’t want the ball at all. It was an anonymous, shameful performance from someone who should be so much better.