Cesc Fabregas’ Chelsea performance: Graphics 0

If you’re an Arsenal fan, you probably won’t have enjoyed that much: Cesc Fabregas returned to English football in Chelsea blue and was absolutely faultless against Burnley.  Fabregas adjusted to his reversion into central-midfield perfectly and his use of the ball  his permanent availability were both highly impressive, in addition to providing the moment of the season so far with his pass to Andre Schurrle for the game’s third goal.

The partnership between the Spaniard and Nemanja Matic looks especially promising, because the two players seem to complement each other perfectly.  Both are technically very capable, but the Serbian’s ball-winning and defensive awareness provides Fabregas with a security and a platform from which he can operate.  It may have only been Burnley, but this was still eye-catching - Chelsea were untouchable in the middle of the pitch.

Here are Cesc Fabregas’ notable graphics, courtesy of Squawka:

Cesc Fabregas: Distribution vs Burnley

Cesc Fabregas: Distribution vs Burnley

Cesc Fabregas; Touches vs Burnley

Cesc Fabregas: Interceptions vs Burnley

A word on that second Chelsea goal, because that really highlighted what makes Fabregas so useful.  His ability to play in central-midfield is the reason Jose Mourinho bought him, but having a player who can step into the attacking areas and produce creative moments like that makes the side infinitely more dangerous.  If Ramires had been playing instead of him tonight, or John Obi Mikel, then that pass doesn’t happen and Chelsea don’t score - neither of those players would have taken that pass to Schurrle on, and instead they’d have likely looked for a lay-off or some other high-percentage option.  Even Frank Lampard, gifted player though he is/was, would have struggled to execute something of that difficulty.

That’s what Fabregas brings to the middle of the pitch: fundamental midfield attributes, but also the touch of flair that increases the team’s creative potency.

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