Chelsea coach Guus Hiddink has heaped praised on under-fire attacking midfielder Eden Hazard.
The Belgian, who was last season’s Premier League Player of the Year, has endured a difficult season thus far, with a number of below-par performances resulting in widespread criticism.
Yet the 25-year-old showed signs of his undeniable talent on Sunday, scoring a sublime free-kick and setting up two more goals in Chelsea’s 5-1 FA Cup demolition job of Manchester City, leaving his manager thoroughly impressed.
“Eden Hazard came back very strong. That’s what I like very much,” Hiddink told Chelsea TV. “He has had setbacks in recent period caused by injuries and it’s not easy to come back.
“He trained well. Bit by bit he got more minutes in the games and it’s rewarded now by his assists and goal. That’s good.
“Everyone was focusing on him. Of course we protect him, but we also ask him what he can do – and he did [show what he can do].”
The Blues’ victory sees them advance to the Last 8 of the FA Cup, where they now meet EPL rivals Everton. Kickoff.com