‘He can’t continue at Real Madrid for one second more’

Chelsea ensured that the 2020-21 Champions League final will be an all-Premier League affair by comfortably dispatching Real Madrid in the second leg of their semifinal on Wednesday night.

A straightforward 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge saw Thomas Tuchel’s side tally up a 3-1 aggregate, meaning they will now travel to Istanbul to face Manchester City in the final on May 29.

– Olley: Tuchel returns to UCL final after fixing Chelsea
– UCL talking points: Will City or Chelsea lift the trophy?

However, despite the assured showing, two great goals, action at both ends and a host of impressive individual performances from the home side, the main talking point came courtesy of a former Blue.

Indeed, the sight of Eden Hazard smiling and congratulating a few of his ex-teammates after the final whistle proved to be too much to take for some, with sources telling ESPN that the images have generated a “monumental” anger within his club.

Eden Hazard was happy for Chelsea 💙

(via @btsportfootball)pic.twitter.com/MimWLtQkzF

— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 5, 2021

The Belgium international was spotted cheerily shaking hands and chatting with former colleague Kurt Zouma and Chelsea’s summer signing Edouard Mendy, which didn’t go down well with Madrid fans who had just watched Hazard fail to make any discernible impact in a big game once again.

Some noticed parallels with Queens Park Rangers striker Djibril Cisse openly celebrating with Samir Nasri after Manchester City had won the 2011-12 Premier League title by beating Cisse’s team on the final day of the season, also relegating QPR in the process.

Hazard joining Chelsea’s celebrations after dropping a 2/10 performance pic.twitter.com/B3qmnFPE6z

— Matthew Stanger (@MatthewStanger) May 5, 2021

There were jokes abound about Hazard attempting to sneak into the Chelsea dressing room to celebrate with his old side, a la Roy Williams’ memorable locker-room entrance.

Eden Hazard sneaking into the Chelsea dressing room to celebrate 😏 pic.twitter.com/3NdBfh5rEa

— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) May 5, 2021

Hazard was also pictured joining in with Chelsea’s postmatch celebrations. Sorry, not pictured, Photoshopped. But it was such a convincing image.

Hazard dice que los envidiosos dirán que es Photoshop…

😅 😂 🤭#ChampionsxESPN pic.twitter.com/jgnVY7OjQN

— Ahora o Nunca ESPN (@ahoraonuncaespn) May 5, 2021

Even Burger King had a pop. Back in February, the fast food chain’s Spanish social media team annoyed Real Madrid fans when they posted a reply to a question asking why Hazard had not trained by pointing out their buy one, get one free offer. Following Madrid’s elimination at Chelsea, they declared: “The 2 for 1 returns at Burger King.”

Vuelve el 2×1 a Burger King. https://t.co/6FGfvn7aUB

— Burger King España (@burgerking_es) May 5, 2021

However, the most wonderfully melodramatic reaction to Hazard’s handshake came — perhaps predictably — from the studio of Spanish TV show “El Chiringuito,” who treated the incident like an unforgiveable act of treachery.

2 Related

“Madrid eliminated and Hazard laughing his head off,” grumbled the show’s host, Josep Pedrerol, to a backdrop of doom-laden backing music. “Hazard has taken the Madridismo for a ride for two years. Two years overweight, without dribbling past anyone.

“I was reading moments ago and many of you were saying ‘another [Gareth] Bale in this world … Real Madrid waiting for him for three years… Madrid paid €100 million for him.

“You’ve just been eliminated and is it possible you find something funny? After Zidane gives you the opportunity to play from the start, an opportunity that you don’t deserve, you laugh at everyone.”

“What Hazard has done is very serious,” Pedrerol continued, before asking his producer to replace the club emblems behind him with the offending image of the Belgian and declaring: “He [Hazard] cannot continue at Real Madrid for one second more.”

🔥💣 “¡¡HAZARD NO puede SEGUIR ni un SEGUNDO MÁS en el R. MADRID!!” 💣🔥

😡 ¡@jpedrerol, más ENFADADO que NUNCA en #ChiringuitoHazard! 😡 pic.twitter.com/RsoHw6FoXs

— El Chiringuito TV (@elchiringuitotv) May 5, 2021

Meanwhile, Chelsea were busy revelling in their success after reaching their first Champions League final since they won the competition in 2011-12.

The Chelsea locker room is HYPED! 🎊

(via edou_mendy/Instagram) pic.twitter.com/Qy3ZF6J4Mt

— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 5, 2021

As his players celebrated inside, Chelsea manager Tuchel took a private moment to let out a jubilant howl on his own in the middle of a deserted Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel has just come out onto the pitch on his own and let out a massive roar of joy pic.twitter.com/Z3aSwsQl1G

— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) May 5, 2021

Scorer of the first goal of the night, Timo Werner saluted his teammates after managing to reach a major European in his first season at Chelsea, as did fellow new boys Kai Havertz and Thiago Silva.

What a night. What a team! Incredibly proud, couldn’t be happier right now 🤩💙 pic.twitter.com/52djSAiyDT

— Timo Werner (@TimoWerner) May 5, 2021

FINALLLLL #UCL pic.twitter.com/FhZgq04rRl

— Kai Havertz (@kaihavertz29) May 5, 2021

Congratulations to the entire team and staff @ChelseaFC , we are in the #UCL final!! 👏🏽🙏🏽🔵🔵 #ThiagoSilva #CHERMA #ChampionsLeague #StamfordBridge pic.twitter.com/mw2weLaY22

— Thiago Silva (@tsilva3) May 5, 2021

Mason Mount, scorer of the second goal of the night which put the tie beyond doubt, followed suit after ensuring that Chelsea became the first club to reach the finals of both the men’s and women’s Champions League finals in the same season.

See you soon Istanbul! pic.twitter.com/bxyWgSRhBm

— Mason Mount (@masonmount_10) May 5, 2021

Spirits were so high in the dressing room that Ben Chilwell even managed to talk club masseuse Billy McCulloch into doing the worm — or at least a version of it — on camera.

😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/UhGko6xGmW

— Simon Phillips (@siphillipssport) May 5, 2021

After running Real ragged to such a degree that he was named man of the match in both legs of the tie, N’Golo Kante attempted to make a typically quiet, low-key exit from the Bridge after the game. However, the midfielder was soon mobbed as fans gathered outside the ground recognised the man behind the wheel and promptly mobbed his Mini.

N’Golo Kante drops a MOTM performance to help Chelsea reach the UCL final, then gets mobbed as he leaves in his Mini Cooper.

What a guy 😎

(via @ellarguero)pic.twitter.com/SkFdpfaRbt

— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) May 5, 2021

Kante hadn’t even played top-flight football until he was 23 and now, at the age of 30, he’s won a World Cup, the Europa League, two Premier League titles, two FA Cups, and is just one step away from adding a Champions League winner’s medal to his haul. Tres bien.


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