Belgian international Thibaut Courtois has hit out at the decision to take off Eden Hazard in the second half of Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United.
He has also revealed who he blames for the the goals that were conceded at Old Trafford and in their previous match, a 1-1 draw with Barcelona, at home at Stamford Bridge.
The 25-year-old has become a low key contract rebel for the Blues after refusing to discuss any terms on a new deal until the summer when Real Madrid are expected to make an approach for the former Atletico Madrid shot-stopper.
David De Gea is no longer thought to be an available target for the LaLiga giants who have apparently switched their focus to the Chelsea goalkeeper, and Conte has already spoken of his concern for the situation that is developing around the player this season.
In an interview with Belgian TV channel Play Sports, Courtois was quick to point the finger at his defenders for failing to resist the opposition for the second big game in a row.
“After our goal, we conceded a counter-attacking goal just like last Tuesday but in the second half we had less of the ball, but even then we should never have lost this match,” he said.
“If you do not do the small things well in top matches, you lose, which is what happened today.”
However, he was also critical of Conte and the Italian’s decision making during the game against United, especially with regards to his use of Hazard.
The Belgian was taken off in the second half to release the pressure on the hosts and deprive the Blues of their most influential player.
“I have no explanation for the sub of Hazard”, said Courtois. “I had not expected him to take him off but it is a choice of the manager. He must explain. I can’t look into his head.
“Players like Eden should have 90 minutes on the pitch. He can always bring something extra offensive.”
Hazard was recently rated as the most effective dribbler in Europe’s major leagues this season and is also said to be a target for Real and Premier League leaders Manchester City in the summer, although Chelsea believe they can convince the midfielder to extend his contract.