Gus Poyet described Eden Hazard as "unplayable" after his man-of-the-match performance against Sunderland on Wednesday night.
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Hazard, 22, was in sensational form at the Stadium of Light midweek, providing one assist and scoring two sensational goals as Chelsea narrowly overcame Sunderland 4-3.
Echoing the praise cast upon Hazard by Jose Mourinho, Poyet admitted he attempted a number of tactical changes to inhibit the diminutive Belgian, but was ultimately forced to concede to his brilliance on the night.
"He was amazing," Poyet said of Hazard. "I don’t ever remember a player playing against a side I have managed as well as he did -- no matter what we did we couldn’t cope with him. It’s as good as a performance as I’ve seen from anyone all season.
"We tried everything -- we man-marked him, we put two up against him, three, tried other tactics but there was nothing we could do.
"I loved coming up against my former club because that is why I want to be here at Sunderland - to be involved in games like these against the best teams in the world. And we acquitted ourselves well on the night -- it was an exceptional game of football.
"There were great challenges between Chelsea's defence and our attack -- between the likes of John Terry and Gary Cahill, and Fabio Borini and John Altidore, and I enjoyed watching that. This is a different Sunderland team from the one that I took over and I’m convinced that if we play like that all season then we will stay up."
Despite a positive performance from the home side, the result sees Sunderland remain bottom of the Premier League on eight points. However after a number of fine individual performances from the likes of striker Jozy Altidore, the Sunderland boss remained keen to take the positives from the game, claiming that if the club can maintain their level of performance then they will eventually escape relegation.
"If we can play like this, fight like this and make it difficult for teams like this, we will stay in the Premier League for sure," said Poyet. "If I compare this performance with the way we lost my first game in charge 4-0 at Swansea, what a change. A totally different attitude, a different way of playing football.
"I think we are heading in the right direction, but we need to confirm that with a win. It’s no good keeping talking and talking and talking -- we need to win football games. But I’m proud of my players. It still hurts me because we lost, but I need to be positive."