Referees failing ‘naive’ Hazard – Mourinho

Eden Hazard’s honesty and a lack of “protection” from referees is costing Chelsea, according to manager Jose Mourinho.

The Belgian has been a standout contributor in a much-praised attacking style that has taken the Blues to the top of the Premier League table and sees them still involved in all three knockout competitions.

But Mourinho said Hazard, the most-fouled player in the Premier League, is paying the price for his refusal to try to make the most of his treatment in the opposition penalty box.

“Eden Hazard is still the naive boy he was at youth level,” Mourinho said. “For him to go to the floor needs to be something really nasty. He is getting no protection. That is the reality.”

Hazard, 24, has scored 11 goals in 29 games this season, and has set up a further four goals in the Premier League.

But he has also laid on countless other chances playing as one of the three men supporting lone striker Diego Costa.

Mourinho is appealing against a Football Association charge brought after he said there was a “campaign” to influence refereeing decisions against his side.

But he maintained that Chelsea’s tally of just two penalties in the league this season does not tally with their attacking approach.

Manchester City have had five penalties and Arsenal have had four, with Crystal Palace, West Brom, QPR, Everton and Liverpool also having been awarded more spot-kicks than Mourinho’s men.

He said: “You could say that Eden Hazard is the most fouled in the whole of the Premier League, that Chelsea is the team with the most shots and attacks and dominance, but still have the least penalties which is a big contradiction.”

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