Jose Mourinho described Eden Hazard as the finest young footballer in the world after the winger helped Chelsea end Manchester City's 100 percent home league record.
Branislav Ivanovic got the only goal in Chelsea's 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium but winger Hazard, 23, maintained his excellent recent form. And while Chelsea manager Mourinho believes Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo rank above the Belgian for now, he feels Hazard has the ability to get better still and challenge them.
He said: "I keep saying he has to improve. He needs to have his feet on the ground. Ronaldo and Messi are Ronaldo and Messi. Eden Hazard is probably the best young player in the world with legs to go there, but give him time."
Chelsea became the first team to stop City scoring at the Etihad Stadium in the league since Birmingham drew 0-0 in November 2010. And their central defenders Gary Cahill and John Terry excelled, prompting Mourinho to say he had no problem if the Chelsea captain comes out of international retirement to go to next summer's World Cup.
Without Terry, England manager Roy Hodgson has partnered Cahill with Everton's Phil Jagielka in the centre of defence.
Mourinho added: "I think Jagielka did a very good job but John is playing amazingly well. Now it is up to the FA, to Roy and to John. The decision they make is the decision I accept."