Football

'Chelsea aren't set up to play football'

Eden Hazard offered a further stinging critique of Jose Mourinho's tactical methods after Chelsea exited the Champions League yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The Blues were criticised for defensive tactics employed in the semi-final first leg at Atletico Madrid and in the Premier League win at Liverpool before tumbling out of Europe after a 3-1 home loss.

"Chelsea aren't set up to play football," said Hazard.

"Chelsea are set up to counter-attack. We are good on the counter, like Real (Madrid) against Bayern Munich.

"We did that well tonight because we scored, but their goal before half-time hurt us. In the second half, we didn't manage to make the difference."

Mourinho was left to rue the performance of the club's own goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Belgian international Courtois, 21, has been on loan at Atletico from Chelsea since 2011 and he produced a save that Mourinho identified as the key moment in the tie.

With Atletico ahead on away goals after Adrian Lopez had cancelled out Fernando Torres's 36th-minute opener for Chelsea, Courtois plunged to his left to block a header from home skipper John Terry.

Moments later Diego Costa put Atletico 2-1 up from the penalty spot after he had been fouled by Samuel Eto'o and a late Arda Turan effort completed a 3-1 victory.

IMPOSSIBLE

"The difference was one minute in the second half, when the Atletico goalkeeper makes an impossible save from John Terry's header," said Mourinho.

"Instead of 2-1 for Chelsea, a few seconds later, there is a penalty, which I'm happy people tell me was a penalty, and they scored the 2-1.

"That minute was crucial. After that, they had complete control and we had the feeling the game was lost.

"They had the feeling the game was in their hands and after that they were very solid, very mature, a real team.

"I knew before they were a real team, and I congratulate them."

- Wire Services.

Champions League