Chelsea cruised to another 3-0 win against Schalke in UEFA Champions League Group E play in London on Wednesday, this time without the services of playmaker Eden Hazard, who was instrumental in the Blues’ previous 3-0 win in Gelsenkirchen two weeks ago. Coach Jose Mourinho chose to put the Belgium international in the stands for apparently missing a training session in the build-up to the game. After the game, the Portuguese downplayed the significance of Hazard’s absence.
"I don't want to lie,” Mourinho said in his post-game press conference. “[Hazard is] not injured. He forgot the time. Let's end the story. He's a kid, kids make mistakes and fathers they have to be clever in the way they educate their sons. He didn't play, he wanted to play. He's sad because he wanted to play." Nevertheless, Mourinho insisted that the former Lille midfielder would return to the squad for this weekend’s visit of West Brom in the Premier League.
As for Wednesday’s performance: “It was good,” Mourinho said. “The team was stable and kept possession. After the first goal, we played like we want to play. Everyone worked hard, especially the wingers. When we recovered the ball, we were always aggressive. That was important for us."
The former Inter Milan coach singled out former Inter player Samuel Eto’o, who he said is slowly coming back to top form after two years at Anzhi Makhachkala. Eto'o scored twice in the win against Schalke. "It was not a surprise for me that he arrived here not in the best conditions after two years in Anzhi,” Mourinho said. “Now step by step he is going. He is 32 but he's a fit, slim guy. He's not a heavy body. He's intelligent, of course, and I think goals give confidence."