Ronald Koeman – ‘I’m proud of Idrissa Gueye for successfully frustrating Eden Hazard

Everton manager Ronald Koeman praised Idrissa Gueye for restricting Eden Hazard‘s movements notwithstanding the club’s 3-0 loss to Chelsea.

Koeman, 54, marveled at Gueye’s man-marking abilities, describing his player as “brilliant” for the impressive performance.

Hazard started his football career as a 4-year-old playing for hometown club Royal Stade Brainois. He was described as a “gifted player” by one of his coaches who also said: “He knew everything. I had nothing to teach him.”

The 26-year-old Belgian was painstakingly brought under control thanks to Gueye’s resilience even though Willian, Pedro and Gary Cahill found the net thrice for Chelsea to enhance their chances of clinching this season’s EPL title.

According to Koeman’s post-match statements following their comfortable win at Goodison Park, “He [Gueye] did really well.

“It is very difficult to mark a player like Eden Hazard.

The Dutchman continued: “I thought he controlled him, he was aggressive and we stopped one of the strengths of Chelsea. It was an outstanding performance by Gueye.”

Gueye, 27, is a Senegalese footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder. He joined Lille FC in 2008 and was part of the squad who won League 1’s 2011/12 trophy.

In Koeman’s analysis of today’s match, he admitted that Everton showed character in the face of defeat, adding that his players deserve a pat on the shoulder.

“I think we did well,” he said.

“We started well and we were a bit unlucky in the first minute by hitting the post. We made some mistakes in possession and that made them really dangerous at times in the first half, but I think we did a good job up until it went 1-0.

“After that, it makes it more difficult to create chances and then, of course, if they get a little bit more space then they are a team who can kill the game with the second goal.

“The third goal was high quality, [showing] the offensive side of Chelsea. Maybe we didn’t deserve the defeat by three goals, but that is football.

“I don’t think physically they had too much for us, but they were confident in the way they defended their lead, they were the more experienced team and they managed to go 2-0 up.

“They waited for space, waited for chances. I think comparing our offensive play to theirs was the difference. They were really clinical.”