Jose Mourinho: Opponents kicking Eden Hazard out of English football

Jose Mourinho has warned that Eden Hazard may be forced out of the Premier League if opponents continue to target the Chelsea attacker with "aggressive fouls."

Hazard, 23, was in fine form during Chelsea's 5-3 defeat at Tottenham on New Year's Day, though Mourinho believes the Belgium international needs more protection from officials after claiming Mauricio Pochettino's side "kicked" him repeatedly.

The Portuguese coach criticised referee Phil Dowd after the defeat at White Hart Lane left the Blues level on points with Manchester City, but fears that Hazard -- who has been linked with Real Madrid -- may ultimately leave Stamford Bridge if the treatment continues.

"People in love with football in this country, people must be in love with Eden Hazard," Mourinho said.

"The way, match after match, he's being punished by opponents and he's not being protected by referees, maybe one day we won't have Eden Hazard.

"It's one, two, three, four, five, 10 aggressive fouls against him. They kick and kick and kick, and the kid resists.

"He's a very honest guy in the way he plays, but that's another problem."

Mourinho said after the game that referee Dowd was "too slow" to keep up with the play in the New Year's Day match, and felt Hazard had been hauled down by last man Federico Fazio in the second half.

He told BT Sport: "Hazard, honest as always, tells me in his opinion it was not a foul or a red card, so that's good. In spite of [the fact that] Mr Dowd is too slow to go with that ball, he was like 40 yards away, he made the right decision."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.