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Hazard slammed for absence

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Eden Hazard has been criticised for asking to be rested for Chelsea’s win at PAOK.

The Belgium international didn’t travel with the Blues’ contingent for their Europa League group stage opener as Willian’s goal gave Maurizio Sarri’s side a 1-0 triumph.

Sarri admitted to reporters in Thessaloniki ahead of the match: “He told me after [playing for] the national team [earlier this month] and the match against Cardiff he was a little bit tired, so I thought it was better to stay at Cobham, to have training and rest.”

That was after netting a hat-trick against Cardiff at the weekend with Hazard having started the season strongly with five goals and two assists in five matches for top-of-the-table Chelsea.

But former player and manager Stuart Pearce insists Hazard is wrong to have asked for a rest because Barcelona ace Lionel Messi and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo play every game.

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