- Chelsea ran riot in their clash with Stoke City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday
- Conte left Hazard on the bench, perhaps with Arsenal in mind
- Many impressed with what they saw from Chelsea without Belgian
- READ MORE: Video: Danny Drinkwater scores superb first Chelsea goal, ends surprise CFC barren run
Chelsea ace Eden Hazard was dropped to the bench on Saturday, and while his teammates ran riot against Stoke City, it led to an interesting reaction.
The Belgian international didn’t feature in the starting line-up against the Potters, most likely given Antonio Conte’s side face Arsenal next Wednesday in a busy period of the season.
In turn, the Italian tactician would have been delighted that his players swept aside Stoke in the first half at Stamford Bridge without him, allowing him to get some rest and prepare for the Gunners.
However, amid ongoing speculation of interest from Real Madrid, as noted by The Sun, there was also concern that the decision may have had something to do with that.
That seems unlikely, but it still led to a contentious reaction on Twitter from Chelsea fans and neutrals who discussed the 26-year-old’s future and role in the side, as seen below with some more sarcastic responses thrown in too.
Many seem convinced that in his absence others have stepped up and it doesn’t appear as though they would be massively disappointed if he were to leave for Madrid.
Naturally, this is just a small sample size and the large majority of Chelsea fans will surely be desperate for him to stay, but they seem to be doing fine without him against a struggling Stoke side.
Eden Hazard is not needed in this Chelsea team. Couple fancy flicks in games where he gets 0 goals and 0 assists and people lose their minds
— Jamie (@jmemc7) December 30, 2017
Pedro and Willian showing life after Hazard. Who needs him? We’re the greatest team on the planet. No Hazard, no pointless dribbling into nowhere. Willian 2 assists, Pedrito Goalito. Just need Butland in goal and we’re gonna make Chelsea great again.
— The Most Positive Chelsea Fan #BrexitMeansBrexit (@dannydoes) December 30, 2017
All those idiots on Twitter calling me plastic for backing Conte I’m resting Hazard, I really want to know what you’re really thinking now ?????
— ConteTweets (@ConteTweetss) December 30, 2017
With Hazard on the pitch, looks like almost every other Chelsea attackers have the luxury to be useless, today everybody is working
— Alli O.G (@Onflood_) December 30, 2017
If Hazard does leave, if we handle the situation right. We could benefit immensely
— BlueConte (@BlueConte17) December 30, 2017
Chelsea without Hazard is actually good. We would actually exist even if he leaves
— 3-5-2 (@TailoredConte) December 30, 2017
No coincidence that Chelsea start scoring when they bench Hazard
— 18 consecutive wins (@DeBruyneTouch) December 30, 2017
We are absolutely struggling here without Hazard.
— Jon Andrews (@JonAndrews84) December 30, 2017
Genius decision by Conte to bench Hazard.
Fanboys were crying before the game, but they fail to realize that key players need a rest with our schedule.
We will now have a fully charged Hazard against Arsenal midweek.
— Lav (@LavCFC) December 30, 2017