Maurizio Sarri named a strange line-up for the game against Cardiff City as he dropped Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante to the bench.
Eyebrows were raised by Sarri’s decision to bench his best player Eden Hazard for a crucial league game, but Sarri revealed after the Cardiff game that Hazard and Kante were both in need of a rest after their exploits for Belgium and France during the international break. The duo started back-to-back Euro 2020 qualifying matches for their countries last week.
Speaking about why he rested Kante and Hazard, Sarri told Sky Sports before the match: “At the moment Kante has played 50 matches in this season and Hazard 47.
“They played with the national teams, Hazard for 187 minutes and Kante for 175 minutes, and so I think that it’s time to rest.”
Sarri has now revealed that Hazard didn’t react badly to being dropped for Cardiff clash and revealed that the Belgian understands his decision to be rested for the game as he gets to play every other game.
Sarri was then asked if Hazard and Kante would make the starting XI for Brighton clash, to which he responded: “I don’t know but I think so.
“They rested in the last match. We need to consider that N’Golo this season has played 50 matches and Hazard 48.
“In the last two weeks they played with the national teams for two matches so sometimes they need to rest. Now they are okay.
“Eden usually plays every match so he knows very well that sometimes he needs to rest. It’s not a problem for him.”
Hazard’s introduction in the second-half sparked a Chelsea comeback as the Blues went on to beat Cardiff City 2-1 having gone down 1-0. Two late goals from Cesar Azpilicueta and Ruben Loftus-Cheek gave Chelsea the much needed win.