Real Madrid’s game against Espanyol proved to be much tighter than anticipated. Coming into the match, the home side were without a win and had picked up just one point. On the other hand, Los Blancos were sitting at second after matchday 2 and had aspirations of going to the top with a win over the Barcelona-based side.
While those aspirations were met and Real Madrid did finish matchday 3 on top of the La Liga table, for 88 minutes against Espanyol, it looked like Los Blancos were set to drop points.
Ultimately, Karim Benzema stepped up to the plate and scored a late brace to seal a 3-1 win and all three points. The players who were not brought on, even with Real Madrid searching desperately for a late goal was telling though. Eden Hazard was one such player, who was left on the bench against Espanyol.
Carlo Ancelotti has sent a clear message though that Hazard has his full backing and the Belgian will get playing time, but he is not the manager of individual players but of the club. As reported by Real Madrid’s official website, the Italian said:
“Hazard might have been an option, but I didn’t want to unbalance the team. We already had Rodrygo, Vinicius and Karim playing. Bringing on another forward could have been risky. He has my full backing and it’s not a problem if he doesn’t play, doesn’t get on the pitch or doesn’t warm up. He will get playing time. I’m not Hazard’s, Benzema’s, Mendy’s, Camavinga’s or Valverde’s coach. I’m Real Madrid’s coach.”
Can Hazard finally find his wings in Real Madrid colours this season?
It goes without saying that the situation is far from perfect for Hazard and the odds are firmly stacked against him.
Real Madrid made him the most expensive signing in their history in the summer of 2019, bringing him following an incredible spell at Chelsea. His three years at Santiago Bernabeu have been filled with injuries though.
As a result, he has not found his feet at the club and seems to be very much past his prime. He might actually be the last-choice winger at Real Madrid right now.
Thus, it will be very difficult for Hazard to turn things around and get his Real Madrid career back on track. Let’s see if he is up for the challenge.