Unlike a fortnight ago we were unable to match Manchester City individually or collectively, according to Eden Hazard. Like his manager Jose Mourinho, the Belgian was happy to admit City were the better team in our FA Cup fifth round loss yesterday. That was in contrast to our recent Premier League victory at the same ground when everybody in royal blue made a significant contribution to an outstanding team effort.
The winger also said he was disappointed on a personal level he was unable to match the high level of achievement he reached that evening on the rare occasions when we did manage to threaten in the final third.
‘We were hoping to repeat the performance from two weeks ago but it wasn’t the same match,’ Hazard explained.
‘Collectively we were worse because individually we were not good. I didn’t play as well and we didn’t play as well. That can happen. I would like to play like I did (in the league game) every match, every weekend, but it’s not always possible.
‘Especially in the first half we could have done better with some phases of play. Maybe it was a lack of confidence but it was not our day.’
It was a game of few chances but those that came fell the hosts’ way, with a clinical move in either half producing a pair of well-worked City goals. As Hazard points out, they created opportunities in our league meeting but the difference was they could not convert them.
‘They did not have many chances but they were able to take two of them. It was not the same game in that respect. We never managed to find a solution once they had scored. We were just not in the game.
‘We have to keep working though and move on from this match because we have a very important league game next weekend and that’s our focus now.’