Sarri hails Hazard after Chelsea victory

© Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says working closely with Eden Hazard has made him believe that the Belgian is the best player in Europe.

The playmaker scored a stylish hat-trick as the Blues coasted to a 4-1 win over Cardiff City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

A fifth victory from five matches this season took Chelsea top of the Premier League table.

“I thought Hazard was one of the best players in Europe but now I change my mind because maybe he is the best,” Sarri said after Hazard’s man-of-the-match performance.

But the Italian is convinced there is still more to come from his star man, explaining that Hazard needs to spend less time looking to take possession off his central midfielders in his own half.

“I think Hazard can improve more,” Sarri added.

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“He can spend less energy than now at 50-60 metres to the opposite goal. In this actions he spend a lot of energy. He can have more energy in the last 25 metres.

“I have spoken to him and said to him, ‘For me you can score 40 goals’, but you have to spend less energy far from the opposite goal and you have to play in the last 25 metres.

Sarri was pleased with his side’s efforts against the winless Bluebirds but said reiterated that they were still “a step away” from Liverpool and Manchester City.

“In the moment we are very dangerous in the offensive phase but we are not solid as I want in the defensive phase,” he added.

“We knew they were dangerous on the set-pieces and we are not ready to answer. We need to improve and we are able to improve I think, very quick.”