Chelsea’s Eden Hazard downplays comments over Belgium team-mate Romelu Lukaku

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard downplays comments over Belgium team-mate Romelu Lukaku

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SOCHI, RUSSIA - JUNE 18: Romelu Lukaku of Belgium celebrates after scoring his team's second goal with team mates Dries Mertens and Eden Hazard during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group G match between Belgium and Panama at Fisht Stadium on June 18, 2018 in Sochi, Russia

Chelsea star Eden Hazard has claimed that he stands by the comments made about Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku in the half-time of Belgium’s win over Panama at the World Cup, but he has downplayed the significance of his words.

The Blues player felt the need to speak to his teammate at half time of Group G match on Monday as the Red Devils were struggling to break down their opponents.

Hazard suggested that Lukaku had been “hiding up front” in the opening 45 minutes, before responding with two goals in the second half in what turned out to be comfortable 3-0 victory over the Central American team.

Asked to explain his comment, Hazard told Sky Sports News:

“As the captain, even if I am not the captain I can talk, on the pitch I try to give my best, if I can help players to be better I will.

“I just told Romelu if we want to win the game we need him, not just as a scorer to score goals, but we want him to be involved in the build-up. We just talked normally and we won the game in the end so it was fine.”

 Hazard and Lukaku are expected to start Belgium’s second group outing against Tunisia on Saturday afternoon.