Eden Hazard says fans saw his and Chelsea's good side vs. Liverpool
Eden Hazard admitted that he knows Chelsea supporters have been waiting all season to see him rediscover his best form after producing a man of the match performance in Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield.
The Belgian conjured the only moment of magic in an otherwise underwhelming match in the 32nd minute, jinking beyond three Liverpool defenders before curling a low shot beyond countryman Simon Mignolet into the bottom corner.
Liverpool created few clear chances against a makeshift Chelsea defence featuring John Obi Mikel at centre-back, but snatched an equaliser in the second minute of injury time when Asmir Begovic could only parry substitute Sheyi Ojo's cross onto the head of Christian Benteke.
Hazard has now scored four goals in as many Premier League matches since returning from a persistent hip injury, and the winger believes he is once again near the level that saw him claim the PFA Player of the Year award last season.
"Everybody's been waiting a long season for me to be at this level, but now I'm close to my best performance," Hazard told Sky Sports. "I hope I can stay like this forever!
"Mixed emotions [about his performance] but in the end we are not happy, because we came here to win the game. We played fantastically for 89 minutes and then we conceded a goal. We are unlucky but everyone saw the good side of Chelsea tonight."
Asked if he considered his goal to be special, Hazard replied: "It's not special because we didn't win! It's always nice to score but it would be better not to and win the game."
Hazard's prolonged slump this season -- he went almost a year without a Premier League goal prior to scoring twice in a 4-1 win over Bournemouth last month -- has baffled and frustrated many Chelsea supporters, but Hiddink believes the Belgian's recovery is largely down to his physical shape.
"Hazard was terrific and has been growing in fitness for some weeks," the Dutchman said. "It's good to see. He had to suffer a lot with injuries this year but I'm very happy he's back.
"The team reacted very well [from defeat to Sunderland]. We played all game for the win and got an unlucky present in the last minute. We should have killed it off and I'm disappointed not to have the three points.
"The players showed they love to play football."
Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.