Chelsea legend and assistant coach Gianfranco Zola believes Eden Hazard is not only one of the best players in the Premier League, but the world after his sensational strike knocked Liverpool out of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, on pundit duty for Sky Sports, stated that perhaps the diminutive Belgian was the best player in the English top-flight.
“I would like to add something on top of it. Eden is one of the best players in Europe and in the world, for sure. What he’s done today, that goal is proof of that,” Zola responded.
“He is getting better and better. He is doing the right things at the right moment and in a wonderful way. I think Jamie is correct in what he says.”
Liverpool were riding high after reeling off seven wins in a row (all competitions), but were stopped in their tracks by Maurizio Sarri’s men in a pulsating game at Anfield.
The Blues now have the pleasure of hosting the Reds at Stamford Bridge in a Premier League fixture on Saturday night, but Zola insisted the Carabao Cup’s result wouldn’t affect the league fixture.
“I don’t think it will have a big impact, to be honest. Of course, we are very pleased and we will go into the game with a good feeling but Saturday is going to be different,” the Italian expressed.
Liverpool actually dominated the match and missed a couple of gilt-edged chances to put the game to bed long before Hazard even came onto the pitch.
And Zola admitted the result could have easily have gone the other way at Anfield.
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“Today, to be fair, it was such a close game, they played very well, they could have won, and they had the chances to win it.”
“They are a very good team but in the end, we won and we didn’t steal anything. Saturday is going to be similar, two teams that don’t sacrifice their philosophy, (who) want to win and are going to try to win on Saturday as well. Hopefully, it will be the same type of game, spectacular and good to watch,” the 52-year-old added.