Under-fire Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard has been praised by Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti despite a shocking 1-0 loss to Getafe.
The defeat on Sunday ended the Los Merengues 15-match unbeaten run in all competitive matches.
Hazard came on in the second half and managed only one dribble till the match ended.
Madrid started with Marco Asensio and Rodrygo in the first half with Getafe taking the lead on nine minutes via Enes Unal.
Hazard has come under fire for years because of his failure to produce the marquee performances he gave while playing for Chelsea in London.
His goal ratio and his overall game play has been at best mediocre.
But to the surprise of many, coach Ancelotti was full of praise for the often-injured 29-year old World cup bronze winner.
“The decision to play Asensio and Rodrygo has been through details.
I preferred to start with them.
“I knew that they could not do 90 minutes – they have had covid.
I had Hazard for the second half and he has been brilliant.
He has tried (to create) with Marcelo down the left,” the Italian gaffer said.
Despite the defeat, Madrid still has an 8-point lead over second placed Sevilla.
Hazard praised as Madrid suffers shocking New Year defeat