Eden Hazard insists Chelsea have “no excuses” for the limp performances that have seen them comprehensively beaten by top-four rivals Liverpool and Arsenal in their last two Premier League matches.
Antonio Conte’s men travelled to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday hoping to rebound from a 2-1 defeat against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, but instead found themselves three goals down before half-time, as Arsenal capitalised on a series of individual and collective mistakes.
Chelsea never seriously threatened to get back into the match, failing to register a shot on target until the 82nd minute, and speaking to the media afterwards Conte admitted that his players are “a great team only on paper” despite an encouraging start to the season.
Hazard has been singled out for criticism by some for failing to make a positive impact on either match, and the Belgian admits big improvements are required.
“There are no excuses,” Hazard told Chelsea’s official website. “It was not good. We lost too many duels. We came to win the match but we made mistakes, for the first goal, another for the second and then before we knew it we were already 3-0 down.
“Every weekend at the moment we having to come back and score. We did it at Leicester but against Arsenal, who were playing at home, it was not possible.
“They played well. We need to be better. In the last three games in the league there have been nine points available and we have got one. It is disappointing. We need to go away and work on what we are doing wrong ahead of the big matches that are coming up.”
Nemanja Matic added: “It was a very disappointing night for us. We are not happy. Arsenal played very well, they pressed very well, and the result shows they were better. We have to see where we made mistakes and what we can do better to improve.
“We have to know we play for a big club and we have to recover as soon as possible and be focused on the next game. I’m sure the coach will see where the problem is. Every game is a different story. The next game is very hard for us, Hull are a good team, but we have to be ready.”