Eden Hazard has urged Chelsea manager Antonio Conte not to play him in a false No.9 role when the Blues travel to Camp Nou in the second leg of their Champions League clash.
The Belgian led the line at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, though received precious little service, before switching to his usual wing role when Alvaro Morata came off the bench late on.
Chelsea nullified Barca well, and took the lead through Willian, but conceded a late away goal to Lionel Messi meaning they now need to score in Camp Nou – and Hazard has asked for more support in the second leg.
Speaking after the match, Hazard told reporters:
‘To be honest, I like the role as a false 9. But in games like that against quality opposition like Barcelona, it’s difficult.
‘You don’t get a lot of balls. I might have touched 25 balls that night and 15 of them were flying toward my head.
‘That is not really playing to my qualities. I won some aerial duels against Gerard Pique, and that’s not bad.
‘But if I had to choose, I prefer to play like I did in the last 10 minutes, which was out wide. But it’s the manager who has the final word. On the wing I feel more comfortable. That’s my place.’
Messi’s goal came from an Andreas Christensen mistake and Hazard admits his side must attack Barca in the second leg now:
‘In games like that you have to be 100% focused. One error, one goal. ‘We should have scored more. We complicated it ourselves. A draw is a bad result.
‘We won’t be able to think defensively in Barcelona. If we only think about defending, we’ll be in a lot of trouble. We will go to try to win. We have to win, we have to score.’