Carragher says Chelsea hero will not hit Hazard heights

Date published: Wednesday 28th April 2021 10:29 - Matthew Briggs

Christian Pulisic TEAMtalk

Jamie Carragher has dampened Chelsea and US fans expectations on Christian Pulisic and claimed he will not reach the heights that Eden Hazard scaled.

Hazard was up against his old club on Tuesday night, but failed to impress for Real Madrid after coming on a substitute. Instead it was Chelsea’s Pulisic who hit the headlines after opening the scoring in the 1-1 Champions League semi-final first-leg draw. The winger became only the second American to score in a Champions League semi-final. He showed superb composure after a fine run to fire Chelsea into the lead.

The USMNT regular has already amassed nearly 200 appearances and aged just 22 there is a great deal of excitement in the US around him.

Howeve, pundit Jamie Carragher is doubtful he can hit the heights that Hazard once did. Carragher says it’s been forgotten how good Hazard was at Chelsea and doubts the Belgian can even get back to that form himself.

Carragher told CBS Sports on Tuesday: “I’m a big fan but I don’t think he’ll get to the level of Eden Hazard…apologies, he won’t.

“Eden Hazard was the best player in the Premier League for four years and Belgian finished third in the World Cup (in 2018), he was the best player in the tournament – that is the level we are talking about with Hazard.

“This is not me knocking Pulisic – it might look that on social media after the show from certain people! – but I think we forget how good Hazard was.

“He was my favourite player in the Premier League and for Pulisic to get there and to light up a major tournament for the US will be difficult.

“Yes, I think he can have a brilliant career and he has a lot of potential but I don’t see him getting to that level.”

Meanwhile, Thomas Tuchel has admitted a lack of “composure and precision” in front of goal cost Chelsea a potentially-decisive Champions League semi-final first leg victory in Madrid.

Karim Benzema conjured a peerless finish to scramble the muddled Madrid side a 1-1 draw.

Blues boss Tuchel conceded he is unsure whether the away goal and the draw will hand Chelsea the edge in the second leg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, May 5.

Timo Werner failed to convert two fine first-half chances for the west Londoners, leaving Tuchel delighted with the application but circumspect about the end product.

“We defend together as a team, all the strikers have their part,” Tuchel said.


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Tuchel calls for more composure

“We always defend as a block with 11 people so I don’t feel we are pointing fingers.

“But of course, the strikers are the first guys who want to score and be decisive. They want to do it for themselves and the team, this is the highest level.

“Sometimes if you have such a good half-an-hour as we had, with chances and half-chances, you wish for more composure and precision in the decision-making and finishing itself.

“It was not like this so the challenge was more to not worry too long, regret too long and not lose confidence. We did this in the second half and defended very, very well.

“We suffered physically because we only had two days in between. You cannot change five times in the Premier League so it is quite physically demanding.

“Today you could feel this at the end of the game.”

READ MORE: Host of clubs come forward as Chelsea man turns back on contract offer

 

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