For three minutes, newly promoted Burnley held a 1-0 lead over Chelsea, the favorites to win the Premier League this season. But then new signings Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas quickly proved why they are the players who could put Chelsea over the top. Costa equalized in the 17th minute and then Fabregas masterfully set up goals by Andre Schurrle and Branislav Ivanovic to begin The Blues' season with a win.
This gave Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho a chance to stick it to old nemesis Barcelona, where Fabregas and his "Barca DNA" spent the last three seasons before joining Chelsea for £30 million, after getting in his first shots on domestic rivals Arsene Wenger and Manuel Pellegrini before the weekend.
From the Guardian:
Asked how he felt at the arrival of Fábregas, Mourinho added: “When the players are your first choice it is very difficult to make a mistake. Fábregas was our first choice for that position. I know clearly what the player is because we were so long in the same league.
“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 Barça he was the fake nine, the number ten and winger but I know and he knows what is his best position so he is giving exactly what we need. Quick thinking in midfield. He brings people in the same direction. I am really happy.”
Fabregas exhibited that quick thinking with a gorgeous pass to set up the Schurrle goal.
At Barcelona, Fabregas was a part of a midfield packed with talent. There he was a late addition to an already established core, so he was forced to fit in where he could rather than where he could best show off his talents — many of which overlapped with his teammates. But at Chelsea, he gets to be more of a focal point. And Mourinho's vision for him was part of what attracted him to the club in the first place.
"He told me exactly what he wanted from me," Fabregas said of his new manager in July. "He gave me a lift, he made me believe that he wanted me in a very good way."
His hometown club didn't use him properly and the club that developed him didn't want him back, but now the man who spent most of the last decade trying to stop him is now promising to lead him back to his best. It's like the plot to a cheesy redemption film come to life. But with Mourinho hoping to say "I told you so" at the end and rub everyone's face in his success.
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