Maurizio Sarri singled out Eden Hazard after his “wonderful” performance helped Chelsea beat Tottenham on penalties to reach the Carabao Cup final.
The Belgian drew criticism from Sarri in the build-up to the semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge but responded by firing Chelsea ahead for the first time in the tie before the Blues clinched a 4-2 victory in the shootout.
Sarri attributed Hazard’s display to a change in mentality, one he would like to see continue on a consistent basis.
“I think Hazard was having fun,” Sarri told his post-match press conference. “I had fun for 65 minutes watching Hazard.
“He was a little bit tired in the last part of the match, he ran a lot, but he played a fantastic, wonderful match.
“The position is not a big problem, this match we played with another mind, motivation and determination. His qualities are more important than the position.”
Chelsea will face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on February 24, when Sarri could win the first trophy of his managerial career.
The victory comes less than a week after the Italian slammed his Chelsea players following their defeat at Arsenal.
With Sky Sports report