Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho has refused to blame Eden Hazard for the club’s early exit from the League Cup, after he failed to net from the spot.
A Loic Remy goal was the equaliser Chelsea needed to send the match into extra time and an eventual penalty shootout.
Willian, Oscar, Remy and Zouma all converted from the spot, with Stoke also recording a 100%, but hazard failed to finish.
And Mourinho has refused to heap any blame on Hazard who has been struggling with his performance.
“I remember some penalty shootouts. There were misses form Arjen Robben, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka. And now our best penalty taker as well,” Mourinho said at a news conference.
“I never blame a player for missing a penalty, though.”
The defeat represented yet another disappointing result for Chelsea, who have also been struggling badly in the league and Champions League, but Mourinho sees no reason for panic.
“I am happy with our performance. I can take a day off on Wednesday with no problems. I think we played well. We played some attacking football and could have been three or four up at half-time. The team did everything after we fell a goal behind. It was no more than deserved when we equalised,” he added.
“We go out with sadness, but also with a positive feeling. It’s more difficult when you play bad and lose than play well and lose. The players must be frustrated because they’re not getting what they deserve.
“A few months ago I won a few matches and I was champion. People were saying there are things more important than results, yet now, people say results are the most important thing. It’s a contradiction.”
The Chelsea boss then went on to defend his players against recent criticism and feels they deserve more respect.
“There is a lack of respect towards my players. What some people write and say is really bad for the players. Maybe they think my players are like them when they were players. My players don’t do that, they tried everything.
“If anyone saw the second half the other day, playing with 10 men the way my players did … the things they say and write is a lack of respect for the players.”
Next up for Chelsea is a challenging meeting with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Saturday.