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Hazard escapes further punishment

1 February 2013-PA Sport

Beleaguered Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez received a timely boost this evening with the news that he will have Eden Hazard back for Chelsea's game against Wigan next week.

The Football Association confirmed it has decided against extending Hazard's ban for kicking a ball boy during Chelsea's Capital One Cup semi-final against Swansea City.

Hazard was sent off for kicking 17-year-old Charlie Morgan as he attempted to retrieve the ball during the Blues' 0-0 draw at the Liberty Stadium.

It had been suggested that the FA was considering handing down a lengthy suspension to the Belgian, but English football's governing body ruled that the usual three-game ban for violent conduct should stand instead.

Hazard sat out Chelsea's draws against Brentford and Reading so will therefore be available for the club's home game against Wigan, which comes a week after the Blues' trip to Newcastle United this weekend.

Hazard's return will inject some much energy in to a Chelsea side that has been frustrated by inconsistency of late.

The Blues put on a superb display to beat Arsenal 11 days ago, but struggled against League One Brentford and threw away a two-goal lead to take only a draw from Reading.

epl english premier league chelsea

English Premier League

Doubt remains over Hazard return

Eden Hazard must prove his fitness by returning to full training to feature in Chelsea's UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg at Atletico Madrid on Wednesday (AET), according to assistant coach Steve Holland.

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