Chelsea 3-0 Middlesbrough
Chelsea’s fans talk about Fabregas wearing a “magic hat”, but all the magic was in his boots as he picked the visitors apart here at Stamford Bridge.
The 30-year-old was a key purchase from Barcelona when Jose Mourinho brought the title back to Chelsea to two seasons ago. But this season he will be a different kind of title-winner.
The signing of N’Golo Kante from Leicester City and Chelsea’s subsequent success has meant Fabregas, who would have been first choice in almost every other Premier League side, has been marginalised and unable to claim a regular place.
When he has, however, the Spain midfielder has shown the class and quality that has made him one of the game’s enduring talents in the recent era.
Fabregas stepped in here for the injured Kante and gave a midfield masterclass, and when he created Chelsea’s opener for Costa he became the first player to record 10 Premier League assists in six different seasons.
He also created Chelsea’s third for Matic with a glorious instinctive flick that unlocked Middlesbrough again.
Fabregas may wish to seek more regular first team football elsewhere despite being on course to claim another Premier League title winners’ medal – and on this evidence there will be no shortage of takers.
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