Chelsea star Eden Hazard’s season took another turn for the worse on Tuesday night as his missed penalty saw the Blues drop out of the Capital One Cup.
The Belgian had recently been dropped by Jose Mourinho, but impressed after being recalled, as reported by Sky Sports. However, his confidence would undoubtedly have taken another knock as he missed a decisive spot kick.
With the pressure continuing to build on boss Mourinho given Chelsea’s poor form both at home and abroad so far this season, a premature exit from the League Cup was the last thing that the Portuguese tactician would have wanted to deal with.
However, he will have to do so despite late drama in normal time as Loic Remy cancelled out Jonathan Walters’ opener before Phil Bardsley was sent off as the game headed for extra time after finishing 1-1 in the 90 minutes.
The visitors were unable to make the most of their man advantage and so the tie went to penalties and up stepped Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland to emerge as the hero as he denied Hazard to ensure that the Potters prevailed 5-4.
Mourinho will now focus his attention on Saturday’s clash with Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, where it remains to be seen whether or not another negative result will see the club take the decision to replace him.
According to ESPN FC, the former Real Madrid and Inter boss has informed his representatives to explore options away from west London, but it is unclear as to whether or not the Chelsea hierarchy have seen enough and will make the decision sooner rather than later.