After falling behind the last-place club 1-0 in the early going, Hazard took it upon himself to get his side back in the action. He created the equalising goal by driving down the left side and then crossing it to the middle for Frank Lampard.
Later in the first half, the 22-year-old star did it all himself with fancy footwork to find an opportunity and drill a long shot beyond the keeper, as noted by the Premier League Twitter account:
GOAL Sunderland 1-2 Chelsea (37 mins) Eden Hazard jinks into the box and thumps a right-foot shot past Vito Mannone #SUNCHE— Premier League (@premierleague) December 4, 2013
However, this 2-1 lead would not hold in one of the craziest matches fans will see all season. After Sunderland tied the match in the 50th minute, Hazard once again put Chelsea on top thanks to some more great play between him and Lampard in the 62nd minute.
The club's Twitter account highlighted the impressive showing by the midfielder:
Hazard has been at his very best tonight. He's scored two wonderful individual goals and made another with a perfect cross. #CFClive— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) December 4, 2013
Even college basketball analyst Jeff Borzelo of CBS Sports took note of the effort:
Hazard. He's in another stratosphere in this game. Wow.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) December 4, 2013
An own goal and then a score by Sunderland defender Phillip Bardsley made the final score 4-3 with Chelsea remaining in front. This helped the club gain three valuable points on the road and keep pace with first-place Arsenal.
Without Hazard, it is likely none of this would have been possible. The Belgium national was clearly the Man of the Match on a day that saw many other players on his side struggle, and he showcased the ability that leads many to believe he could one day be one of the best midfielders in the world.
He made sharp passes and was nearly unstoppable when he controlled the ball. Only a yellow card in the 62nd minute ruined what was otherwise an almost perfect day.
While he has been a bit inconsistent, this was his second brace of the league season. It is clear that if he plays as well as he did in this match, few clubs will be able to beat Chelsea.
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