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Barkley: “Hazard is up there with the best in the world”

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Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley believes team-mate Eden Hazard’s current form puts him on par with the world’s greatest players

After coming off the bench, Hazard scored a late winner for Chelsea in their hard-fought 1-0 Carabao Cup quarter-final win against Bournemouth.

Barkley, who came off for Hazard in the second-half, was full of praise for the Belgian’s impact on the game with Bournemouth coach Eddie Howe labelling him the “difference”.

“The way we were playing you could see we had the belief a goal was going to come,” Barkley told the club website.

“And Eden got that goal and he can produce magic moments like that, and the team stuck at it and we came away with the win.

“Eden is playing very well at the moment, he is up there with the best in the world and he is capable of producing goals like that, like he scored in a previous round against Liverpool, and to play with a player like that is fantastic.”

Barkley added: “He is relaxed but once he is on the training pitch he is magical and he plays with enjoyment but he scores goals and he creates goals and he is a pleasure to play with.

“He plays with a smile and that is the way you have to approach the game, you have to be laid back and on game day, be ready to make things happen.”

Hazard has now scored seven times in as many games against Bournemouth.