Chelsea talisman Eden Hazard has claimed he is a leader following his side's Carabao Cup semi-final win over Tottenham Hotspur, despite his boss Mauricio Sarri previously doubting his ability to galvanise his teammates.
The Belgian sensation was on top form on Thursday evening, as his scintillating display at Stamford Bridge helped the Blues pull the tie back to 2-2 on aggregate, before winning the game on penalties. Hazard scored Chelsea's second goal in the match, and was a constant threat to Spurs' defence throughout the fiercely fought encounter.
When asked if his manager approved of his performance, via Sky Sports, Hazard said: "I hope so. [In] the meeting we had before the game, we talked about going through and playing in the Final. Now we are in the final so we are just happy. My job on the pitch is to do what I can do. Today I did so I am just happy. I always say that on the pitch I'm a leader. I think I'm a leader.
"To be fair, I don't care [if Sarri doubts my leadership]. I just play my football, it doesn't matter what the manager said. I just focus on this team and I always want to do the best for this team. Today I did and I'm just happy."
The 28-year-old's comments come in response to Sarri's claims in the build up to the match, where he suggested that Hazard was more of an individual talent than a leader. The former Napoli coach's comments may have proved to be something of a masterstrokes, with his player looking like a man on a mission throughout the Spurs clash.
With a brutal run of fixtures ahead, Sarri will be eager for his side to rekindle the great form they showed in the early stages of the season. The Blues are still competing in four competitions, and will hope that the recent arrival of Argentine goal machine Gonzalo Higuaín will give them a boost in their hopes of achieving Champions League qualification.