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'Unplayable' Hazard Earns Mourinho, Poyet Praise

  • Guardian, Thursday, December 5, 2013 11:49 AM

Chelsea on Wednesday edged a 4-3 thriller against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in a game where U.S. international Jozy Altidore opened the scoring with his first Premier League goal of the season. However, after the match, both managers noted that the night belonged to Belgium international Eden Hazard, who scored two brilliant individual goals in addition to assisting Frank Lampard for the Blues’ opener.

The performance left coach Jose Mourinho gushing with praise for the 22-year-old. "We were creative and dynamic when we had the ball – and we had a special Hazard," the Portuguese said. "Normally I don't like to praise a player but from the first minute Eden was amazing. He has a great talent but sometimes he does incredible things then disappears from the game. Tonight he was fantastic from the first to the last minute. Last season he did something similar but to my mind this was his best performance for me. He was taking on defenders and shooting. Sometimes he creates a lot and doesn't shoot, but tonight his performance was fantastic."

Sunderland coach Gus Poyet, who played for Chelsea for three seasons, could only agree. "Hazard was unplayable," he said. "I can't remember a player performing at that level against me as a manager. We doubled up and tripled up on him."

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