Eden Hazard has point to prove before El Clásico with Barcelona
The Belgian came on for Modric in the 73rd minute of the match against Villarreal and showed some positive signs, assisting Isco, who came close to scoring.
The news came in 90 minutes before the match. Carlo Ancelotti had left Eden Hazard on the bench again. Vinicius was chosen on the left wing ahead of the former Chelsea man. The Italian coach also decided to start Marco Asensio after his hat-trick performance in the club's 6-1 win at home to Mallorca. The in-form Rodrygo started on the opposite flank.
According to Opta, Madrid only had two shots on goal against Villarreal, through Vinicius and Karim Benzema. Hazard replaced Luka Modric in the 73rd minute at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium. A defensively solid Villarreal side had their work cut out with Hazard, who showed some positive signs in the final 20 minutes of the match.
Up until now, Hazard has only provided one assist this season, for Benzema against Alavés, and is still looking for his first goal. This is a critical season for 30-year-old, who is aware that his performances in 2021-22 will dictate whether or not he has a future at the club.
Competition for places at Madrid
Rodrygo and Vinicius have both had impressive starts to the new season, which hasn't helped Hazard to stake a claim in Ancelotti's first eleven. Asensio has been deployed in a central role, ahead of Modric and Casemiro.
Everyone knows what a phenomenal player Hazard was at Chelsea. He reached his career highs at the Stamford Bridge outfit and with the Belgium national team at the 2018 World Cup, before joining Real Madrid just one year later.
Madrid fans wait for Hazard to shine
Real Madrid fans continue to question whether Hazard can return to his previous form. He came on at the Santiago Bernabéu to a standing ovation against Villarreal.
In his post-match press conference after the 0-0 draw on Saturday, Ancelotti admitted that Hazard will get minutes in Madrid's upcoming matches. On Tuesday, Los Blancos host Sheriff in the Champions League. They then travel to Barcelona to take on Espanyol before the Nations League international break commences. Athletic Club will then travel to the Bernabéu before Madrid travel to Ukraine to take on Shakhtar Donetsk. After these four fixtures, Madrid will have the first El Clásico of the season to prepare for, when Barcelona welcome Ancelotti's men to Camp Nou on October 24, with a kick off time of 10:15 ET.
Hazard therefore has four games coming up to prove to himself and Madrid supporters that he deserves a place in the starting eleven for the match against Barça.
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