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Eden Hazard vs. Everton: Quite possibly the best game ever for the 'complete player'

I tried to keep it low-key in the headline, but after listening to John Motson gush all over Chelsea's, and in particular, Hazard's performance on Match of the Day last night, it's quite possible that I'm severely underselling the situation. It's a good thing we have these individual highlights videos, so we can judge for ourselves.

Was this Hazard's best performance for Chelsea? It certainly wasn't the worst...

Head coach Antonio Conte was rightly pleased, just as he was with all his players, and offered a few words of high praise afterwards.

"He played an impressive game. We all know he's a talented player. I see that he's working a lot for the team and I think his team-mates are very happy for this."

"He's a complete player, when he plays in this way - with the ball and without the ball. He must continue because he has great talent and he's showing this in every game."

-Antonio Conte; source: BT Sport via BBC

Much has been made of Conte's new 3-4-3 formation giving Hazard a "freer" role — i.e. one with fewer crucial defensive responsibilities — but that does take a bit of credit away from Hazard's own improving work-rate as well. He won't ever be confused with Willian or Oscar in that regard, but the combination of the role change, coupled with a bit of awareness has reduced incidences such as Atléti's Junfran (a couple years ago) or Arsenal's Hector Bellerin (a month ago) waltzing in unchecked — the latter was also pointed out by Thierry Henry in his recent appearance on Monday Night Football.

Of course the bigger impact of the tactics change has been at the other end, where Hazard has five goals (and an assist) in his last four games.

"We scored five beautiful goals. We could have scored more. I'm enjoying my football. I just said last week after the game against Southampton that I'm enjoying my football."

"We played well and we created a lot of chances. We scored goals. We are enjoying our football at the moment."

"It's not bad. We are in a good place [at the top of the table]. We want to stay there until the end. We will fight until the end to be there."

-Eden Hazard; source: BT Sport via ESPN

Following Liverpool's win on Sunday, Chelsea finish the weekend in second place, one point behind the Reds and one point ahead of Manchester City in third and Arsenal in ... fourth. After last season's upside down league, normal order appears to be resuming — including a return to his 2014-15 Player of the Year form for Eden Hazard.

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