Eden Hazard and Diego Costa both started despite carrying injuries in Chelsea’s Champions League defeat to PSG.
Branislav Ivanovic has defended Hazard and revealed the Chelsea star played though the pain barrier in the 2-1 Stamford Bridge defeat.
The Serbia international leapt to the defence of Hazard, who was booed off by a section of Chelsea fans when he was substituted late in the second half of the 4-2 aggregate defeat to the Ligue 1 side.
Hazard, like the majority of the season, was below par and came under heavy criticism from Chelsea fans on social media after being seen to swap shirts with Angel di Maria at half-time.
However, Ivanovic says the 25-year-old went into the game carrying an injury, which has made him a doubt with a leg problem for Chelsea’s FA Cup quarter-final clash with Everton on Saturday.
It’s not an excuse, but people have to think about the fact he started the game injured,” Ivanovic told the Evening Standard.
“Did that show how committed he is? Yes. Of course when you lose a game the fans are not happy and they have to be like that.
“But in my opinion it was one of his best performances so far. He was very strong and quick. He wanted to score and had a couple of actions where he looked like last season.”
Interim boss Guus Hiddink also revealed that striker Diego Costa, who was replaced by Bertrand Traore on 60 minutes, was not 100 per cent fit for Wednesday’s last-16, second leg clash.
Hiddink said: “He wasn’t totally fit, but he desperately wanted to play.”