Chelsea chiefs 'baffled by Maurizio Sarri's decision' not to start Eden Hazard vs Frankfurt

CHELSEA'S top brass were reportedly unimpressed after Maurizio Sarri dropped Eden Hazard on Thursday night.

The Blues' star man watched the first 61 minutes of the 1-1 Europa League semi-final first-leg draw from the subs bench, before coming on to replace Willian.

Chelsea are resigned to losing Hazard, 28, to Real Madrid at the end of the season – but expected him to start every remaining game until he is sold.

According to The Times, executives at the top do not meddle in team affairs and have not asked Maurizio Sarri to explain himself, but "eyebrows were raised" over the decision to bench him.

Sarri said after the draw with Eintracht Frankfurt that Hazard needed to rest to stay fresh for the rest of the season, which includes two Premier League games and possibly two more Europa League matches.

He said: "For a player that has 70 matches in a season, starting him from the bench is a normal reaction.

"We have to play again in 62 hours."

Sarri's own future in SW6 is still uncertain and will be decided when talks take place between Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and club director Marina Granovskaia at the end of the season.

The Italian is yet to win over fans, who have complained at his team selection and tactics.

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However, Sarri could yet lead Chelsea back to the Champions League.

With two games remaining in the Premier League, the Blues currently sit in fourth place, two points ahead of Arsenal and a further point above Manchester United.

Winning the Europa League would also confirm their place in Europe's top competition next season.

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