Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says his decision to drop Eden Hazard for the 2-0 win against Aston Villa was purely tactical, adding his delight after his side ended their winless run.
Diego Costa and an Alan Hutton own-goal gave the Premier League champions their first win in four outings, with Mourinho having dropped Hazard, Nemanja Matic, Oscar and Gary Cahill to the bench for the clash at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho has been critical of Hazard’s work-rate previously in his Chelsea reign but stated the Belgian’s absence from the starting XI was due to defensive requirements.
“I left out Hazard because we are conceding lots of goals. It was a tactical decision,” he told reporters.
“Willian and Pedro did amazing defensive work.
“I told the players that this is not the moment to think about personal situations, or to moan or be selfish.”
The hosts were far from their best as a struggling Villa spurned a number of chances before Hutton’s unfortunate own-goal sealed the victory.
Mourinho was only focused on the result, however, adding: “It was not a brilliant performance, but it was a solid performance. In football, you are brilliant when confidence high.
“When the confidence goes down, quality goes down, and you have to bring other ingredients. They did that.
“I was expecting this kind of answer, and the answer is there. The result is most important.”