Leon Balogun

Brighton’s players were so impressed with Eden Hazard’s performance against them on Sunday that the squad were left admiring the “unbelievable” forward after their 2-1 loss to Chelsea at the Amex Stadium.

That’s according to Brighton defender Leon Balogun, who revealed how the team talked about the Belgian star in the dressing room after he scored one and created another to inspire Chelsea to victory on Sunday.

“He’s unbelievable,” Balogun exclusively told Standard Sport when asked about Hazard.

“We just spoke about it in the dressing room. He’s as quick with the ball as he is without it. His control is magnificent, so it’s very hard to…you cannot control him, really. It’s hard.

“You can get the ball off him if he makes a mistake. Most of the time it’s about delaying him – I think we did very well [with that].”

Hazard was once again fielded by Maurizio Sarri as a ‘false No.9’ after Alvaro Morata had been ruled out of the trip to Brighton with a knee injury.

Hazard expressed reservations about playing up front, which he also did against Manchester City a week earlier, because of the lack of time he has on the ball.

But the 27-year-old still impressed in the role against Chris Hughton’s side – setting up Pedro for the opener before receiving Willian’s pass following a mistake by Balogun to slot in the Blues’ second in the 33rd minute.

Balogun admitted he had thought Hazard’s assist for Pedro’s goal was “a bit lucky” but said it took nothing away from the fact the Chelsea star is a world-class player.

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