Chelsea magician Eden Hazard failed to show some of his magic during Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford after he was man-marked by Manchester United’s Ander Herrera and ex-Chelsea winger Pat Nevin has given Hazard some tips that would help him in future when he is being man-marked.
“One of the notable aspects of the game at the weekend was that even though the likes of Eden Hazard was fouled as regularly as he was in the recent home game when we beat United in the Cup, he didn’t get nearly as many of those fouls given,” Nevin wrote in Chelsea’s official website.
“That is what happens away from home and in simple terms, the top creative players have to deal with it and find answers themselves. It may be changing your position, you’re starting area or taking your marker to where he doesn’t want to be – wildly out of his comfort zone.
“You watch some top creative types when being followed by one man throughout and they dive consistently, trying to get that marker booked, hoping to change the odds in their favour.
“I would never advocate that, but if you can manipulate the situation so that your marker is taking you out when you are running at pace, rather than those close technical fouls when he comes in behind you and blocks you, then you are more likely to see the referee reaching for his pocket earlier.
“This is not diving, this is not cheating, always remember this is an opponent breaking the laws of the game by fouling you! It just looks more extreme to referees when it happens at pace and Eden has to make that be the case on these occasions.
“It will be a recurring theme for the rest of this season, because everyone will try to copy precisely the tactics Jose used at the weekend, so there has to be an adaptation.
“In that Eden isn’t as used to that sort of detailed man-to-man marking in an almost Italian-style here in England, it is something he will work on, get better at and be advised on.”