Hiddink hails ‘gifted’ Hazard

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Chelsea manager was pleased to see Eden Hazard’s talent on show during their 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday.

The Belgian attacker continued his late-season form against the Reds, with a mazy dribble and pinpoint shot opening the scoring in the 32nd minute, before Christian Benteke equalised in the second minute of added time.

“It was, of course, a big disappointment in the last minute, but I can say Chelsea played a perfect game tonight,” Hiddink said of the match.

“We were defensively well-organised. Offensively we had the intention to score which we did through the beautiful goal of Eden. We played with a lot of intent and ambition and that’s how I like to see us play.

“After that, we had the intention to go for the second but we didn’t kill the game off in the second half. We had two or three open chances, but generally, I can be very satisfied with the performance of the team, although it was a nice present for them in the last minute.”

The 25-year-old former Lille star, who won plenty of plaudits in Chelsea’s title-winning 2014/15 campaign, has had a miserable season so far, failing to score in the league until the end of April, but he has now brought his tally up to four and reminded fans of his ability.

“He has had a difficult year. He has had injuries, come back, had more injuries, and that made him vulnerable physically,” Hiddink added. “The last few weeks he has been working on a programme to get him fully fit. He is steadily getting his shape, and you can see what he is able to do.

“Nature gave him a lot of talent. He is gifted, he is smart, he can win a one-on-one anywhere on the pitch which is very important. He plays with courage.

“He receives a lot of physical contact but nevertheless, he goes on. He’s fit and fresh, mentally and physically, and it’s a pleasure to see those type of players.”