Mourinho: Our best away performance
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho poured praise on man of the match Eden Hazard after his sparkling display helped the Blues secure a thrilling 4-3 win at Sunderland.
• Worrall: Hazard warning for Blues' rivals
While Mourinho was bemused by his side’s failure to kill off their opponents in an all-action encounter, the performance of Hazard inspired this eulogy.
"It was his best performance playing for me. We know about Eden’s talent, but for the first time under me he showed ambition from the first to the last minute," Mourinho told reporters after watching Hazard score and create goals at the Stadium of Light.
"I don’t normally like to praise individual performances, but I have to because from the first minute, Eden was amazing.
"Sometimes he can disappear from games. Today, he was fantastic -- getting the ball, attacking defenders, shooting. Eden, (Juan) Mata and William were creative and dynamic. They gave to the team what they needed in terms of creation."
Mourinho struggled to explain how his side had not won by a wider margin, as he suggested his team produced their best display on their travels this season and so nearly cost themselves all three points.
"Was by far our best performance away from home," added Mourinho. "We play fantastic football, we were creative, we had the ball, we were dynamic.
"We played very well defensively, we had not problem to control the situation, but we concede three ridiculous goals. When you score four goals away from home, you have to win, but we were in trouble until the last second because we conceded three goals that you cannot concede.
"You cannot concede one of these goals, to concede three in one match is the big negative.
"If you are not in a day when the team is inspired, the team reacts to the goals, the team keep producing good football and scoring goals, you will be in trouble. It’s very difficult to play away from home, to create so much, to score so many goals, it’s difficult to do it.
"The fact is I cannot even blame the defensive game of the team. The team defended very well, rebound here, round there. Lost my man here, lost there. We conceded three goals that you cannot.
"The most basic is to defend set-plays. In a game where we should win clearly because of the way we played, we had a risk until the last second.
"Sunderland are a good team - good football, good spirit, amazing crowd. They are fast with the wingers coming inside. I knew that it was going to be difficult. But when you play so well you have to win comfortably and not give a headache to the manager.
"This league is a league where any result can happen. Every point you get you should take with both hands."