Eden Hazard handed shock new position at Real Madrid as ex-Chelsea star shows glimpses of his best in win over Almeria
EDEN HAZARD helped Real Madrid complete a comeback win over Almeria in his new role as a striker on Saturday.
Real Madrid were trailing Almeria 1-0 when Carlo Ancelotti looked to the former Chelsea star for inspiration..TAP.TO.CONTINUE READING.
Eden Hazard performed well in his new striker role against Almeria
Antonio Rudiger featured in a new left-back role in pre-season
But rather than substitute wingers Vinicius Jr or Federico Valverde, Hazard replaced midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni and played alongside Karim Benzema upfront.
The bold decision paid off as Real packed Almeria’s penalty area with four attackers, including Hazard, in the build up to their equaliser.
Hazard occupied a defender and touched the ball to Vinicius, whose shot was saved by Fernando Martínez before Valverde slotted in the rebound.
Another substitute David Alaba then curled in a stunning free-kick with 15 minutes remaining to win the game but Hazard showed glimpses that he could be back to his best soon with 100 per cent pass accuracy, per WhoScored.
Hazard has struggled with injuries since moving to the Bernabeu in 2019. He has made just 67 appearances for the club but appears to be close to full fitness and is still a part of Ancelotti’s plans.
The Real boss also tinkered with summer signing Antonio Rudiger in pre-season, playing the former Chelsea defender at left-back – a new position for the German.
Ancelotti is unwilling to split up the tried-and-tested centre-back partnership of Alaba and Eder Militao, and he is confident Rudiger can be a success at left-back.
When asked about Rudiger’s new role, Ancelotti replied: “I liked him [Rudiger] a lot. I am not crazy and he is very intelligent.
“He can play in that position, just as he can also change in the match with Alaba. They didn’t do so today, because it went well.
“[Alaba] as a left-back…only when necessary. I don’t want to change the pair from last year.”
Militao and Alaba formed a strong partnership last season as Real Madrid won La Liga and the Champions League, with Los Blancos getting their title defence off to a perfect start with the win over Almeria.
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