Chelsea magician Eden Hazard was constantly kicked by Manchester United players during Chelsea’s 1-0 FA Cup victory over Manchester United on Monday night with Chelsea boss Antonio Conte urging Jose Mourinho’s side to play football.
However, former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp believes Chelsea have no right to complain about Manchester United’s tactics of kicking Hazard because Chelsea have played aggressively like that for years.
“Chelsea had no right to be upset about Manchester United’s tactics against them. They have played aggressively like that themselves for years,” Redknapp wrote in Standard Sports.
“You only have to look at how Diego Costa has been bashing everyone about, plus Chelsea have got winners like John Terry at the back, players who want to dominate opponents.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that and it has worked for them, so I’m surprised Chelsea were upset.
“They have the edge over United at the moment and Jose Mourinho came up with a ploy to negate them, particularly Eden Hazard.
“I didn’t have a problem with how they approached it: they’re going to get stuck into Hazard, aren’t they? He is so difficult to mark, with the way he wriggles, twists and turns. How do you deal with him? Hazard has an amazing low centre of gravity — it’s hard not to foul him.
“No one wants to see Hazard kicked out of the game but Chelsea can’t have any complaints that he was marked so tightly. I didn’t think the fouls were all deliberate. When Phil Jones, who is a big lad, tries to close in on a little guy who is so quick on the turn, it is difficult for him. Besides, teams aren’t just going to sit off and let Hazard run at them. It’s an FA Cup quarter-final, there is a lot at stake.”
Redknapp also revealed Manchester United’s Ander Herrera, who was sent off in Manchester United’s 1-0 loss to Chelsea, wasn’t smart after he kicked Hazard immediately after United received a warning from the referee.
Redknapp added: “The Ander Herrera sending-off was ridiculous. United had just received a warning about fouling Hazard and Herrera kicks him straight away. Where are your brains?”
I think Redknapp should understand there’s a difference between being marked tightly and being kicked by your opponents. Hazard have been marked tightly in some games this season and no one at Chelsea complained but we won’t tolerate opponents kicking our player (not also forgetting Marcos Rojo’s stamp on Eden Hazard) and I believe Redknapp would also complain if he was boss of Chelsea.