Cesc, Costa & Co catapult Chelsea to stratospheric heights
Chelsea, 11/8 to win the Premier League, did their chances no harm at all in their opening game at Turf Moor against newly promoted Burnley.
Nine months from now, the end of season awards will be upon us. Brought to our attention in this match was that a separate category should be created. One that Cesc Fabregas would not only win, but dominate for the rest of his Premier League tenure.
Jose Mourinho has claimed he won’t misuse the Spaniard in the same way Barcelona did and, after the way he performed on his debut, his role seems harmonious with everyone.
“When the players are your first choice it is very difficult to make a mistake. Fabregas was our first choice for that position. I know clearly what the player is because we were so long in the same league,” Mourinho said.
“He moved to Spain also, so for the last 10 years we have been in the same league for six or seven. I know exactly what he will bring.
“For Barca he was the fake nine, the number 10 and winger but I know and he knows what is his best position so he is giving exactly what we need,” gushed Mourinho.
“Quick thinking in midfield. He brings people in the same direction. I am really happy.”
Chelsea went behind very briefly after they failed to clear a corner, which saw Scott Arfield lash home unmarked. Yes, the Clarets owned the first 15 minutes. But it took the away side a couple more to hit back, with fellow new Spanish superstar singing Diego Costa firing in at the second attempt from close range.
Four minutes later, they were ahead. Lord of the Rings actor Sir Ian McKellen was born in the Lancashire town, but not even his on-screen character; the powerful wizard Gandalf could have conjured the kind of magic that created Chelsea’s second. This time Fabregas, who was instrumental in the build-up for the first, lit up the so-called blue touch paper, as Branislav Ivanovic pulled it back to the edge of the area.
There stood the Spaniard unmarked, though it barely even mattered. If you’d have blinked, you wouldn’t have seen it. The deftest of touches found Andre Schurrle, almost telepathically running onto the defence-splitting pass to steer into the net. Like an accomplished chess player, Fabregas knew what the outcome would be and was at least two moves ahead; it was checkmate for goalkeeper Tom Heaton.
As the away support sang their hearts out, Chelsea provided a rhythm to go with their lyrics. At times they were mesmerising, choreographed by Fabregas as well as Messrs Eden Hazard and Oscar. Costa showed he can take the Premier League by storm this season, and linked up time and again with the team’s chief string pullers.
The winning goal, again demonstrated Fabregas’ sublime accuracy and range of passing. Swinging in a corner, he identified Ivanovic’s late run who volleyed past the helpless Heaton.
A scoreline that didn’t flatter Jose Mourinho’s team at all, and which propels them to the Premier League summit. For Fabregas, he may have already won the ‘award’ for best assist.