Frank Lampard has hailed Eden Hazard’s sensational display in the 4-3 win against Sunderland on Wednesday night and singles the Belgian out as something special.
The 22-year-old netted a brace against Gus Poyet’s side at the Stadium of Light and tied up his defence in knots with his running – especially poor Phil Bardsley, who ended up scoring for both sides on the night.
Lampard also added to his goal tally that night when he nodded in an equaliser during the first half to level proceedings – with a little help from Hazard – after Jozy Altidore opened the scoring.
The Blues did everything well apart from their defence at set-pieces and went on to record their third successive Premier League victory and keeping within touching distance of league leaders Arsenal as well as maintaining pace with the rest of the chasing pack.
35-year-old midfielder Lampard has seen a lot of great performances but believes Hazard’s was one of the best individual displays he has seen for some time.
“Eden Hazard was different class. It’s the best individual performance I have seen in a while.
“The only player who is probably putting in those sort of performances is Sergio Aguero.
“This season he has put in some individual performances which I have seen some of those from afar, but to play with, that was just top drawer.
“He kept slipping inside people and getting his shots away. He was the big difference. As a team, we played very well, but he was that little bit of extra quality that wins you these games.”
Hazard has been Chelsea’s chief creator in Jose Mourinho’s side this season. So far he has created 32 chances for his team-mates in the league – nine more than Juan Mata in second place and 14 more than Lampard in third – and has scored 8 goals with 5 assists in all competitions.
Whilst he is performing well by the usual standards he has not really hit his stride this season and is capable of playing like he did against Sunderland on a more consistent basis, which is probably why he hasn’t been praised as often as some of his team-mates so far this season because so much is expected of him. In my opinion he is the most likely – out of our current crop of players – to win the Ballon d’Or one day.
I think the reintroduction of Mata into the side has not only helped the Belgian raise his game but Lampard has also performed well in the last couple of games where he was struggling a little beforehand (West Ham win aside).
Stoke City away is the next fixture up for Mourinho’s players, but can Hazard repeat his midweek performance and bag a goal or two on Saturday? He’s 5/2 to score any time and 7/1 to score either the first or the last goal with 888sport.com