Hazard among world’s best and still improving, warns Zola
Eden Hazard is one of the world’s best players and is still getting better, according to Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola.
With Liverpool leading 1-0 in Wednesday’s EFL Cup third-round tie at Anfield, Maurizio Sarri sent on Hazard for Willian in the 56th minute.
And the Belgium international inspired a stunning late comeback, delivering a free-kick that led to Emerson Palmieri’s leveller before winning it with a sensational solo strike.
Hazard has netted five Premier League goals already in 2018-19, with Sarri claiming he could challenge for the Golden Boot after setting the 27-year-old a target of 40 goals.
And Zola feels there is even more to come from Hazard, who was one of the star players in Belgium’s run to the semi-finals at the World Cup.
“I think it was a fantastic goal and especially not only the beauty but the moment,” Zola said to Sky Sports.
“He was on his own with four defenders, an unbelievable goal.
“He’s not only one of the best in the Premier League – if not the best – he is one of the best in Europe if not the world.
“Eden is growing fast in his maturity and the choices he makes on the pitch, and in my opinion we haven’t seen the best of him yet. He’s remarkable.”
.@hazardeden10: ‘I spoke to N’Golo on the bench, and he said he didn’t want to take a penalty so you have to score!’ #LIVCHE
Chelsea play Liverpool again in the Premier League on Saturday, with both teams putting their unbeaten league records on the line at Stamford Bridge.
And despite his matchwinning cameo booking Chelsea a place in the last 16 of the EFL Cup, Hazard is in no doubt which meeting between the clubs matters more this week.
“This result will give us more confidence because we drew with West Ham four days ago,” Hazard told Sky Sports.
“The game on Saturday is more important. We have got to try and beat Liverpool on Saturday.”