Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino believes Eden Hazard’s “unbelievable quality” is on par with that of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
The Belgian superstar was in superb form once more for Chelsea on Tuesday night at Wembley in the first leg of their semi-final tie against Spurs in the Carabao Cup.
However, Hazard was unable to prevent the Blues from suffering defeat with a Harry Kane penalty being enough for Spurs to grab a narrow 1-0 win.
Regardless, Pochettino was left impressed by what he had seen from Hazard.
“Of course [Hazard] has unbelievable quality, which makes it so difficult to stop him,” said Pochettino, according to Football London.
“He is the type of high-level player like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, this type of player is difficult to stop.
“He played as a striker but dropped a lot to find the ball. When we scored he played more as an offensive midfielder and was so involved in the game, of course, it was difficult to stop him.”
Hazard was fouled seven times against Spurs, which resulted in him winning seven of Chelsea’s 10 free-kicks during the game.
“No because he was involved, he played like a striker but dropped a lot,” replied Pochettino, when asked if Hazard was extensively fouled on.
“He dropping trying to find the ball and when we scored he played more as an offensive midfielder and was involved in the game.
“Of course he has unbelievable quality, it is so difficult to stop him. He is the type of player, high level, the same level as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, this type of player that is difficult to stop.
“That is why he was so involved in the game and, of course, it was difficult to stop him.”
Hazard has managed 12 goals and nine assists in 26 appearances across all competitions for Chelsea, who will meet Spurs for the second leg at Stamford Bridge on January 24.