Cesc Fabregas was the star of the show as Chelsea secured an opening game win in the Premier League, 3-1, against Burnley.
The Spanish midfielder moved to Stamford Bridge from Barcelona over the summer and hit the ground running on his Premier League return, looking as though he’d never been out of the division.
So how exactly did he put Burnley on the back foot and keep them there?
|Team||Pos||Passing Accuracy (%)||Through Ball Accuracy (%)||Touches||Accurate Cross||Successful Final Third Passes||Total Tackle||Apps||Mins|
Firstly, he retained possession brilliantly.
Fabregas had a passing accuracy percentage of 87.36% for the game, which shows he rarely gave the ball away under pressure and made the right decisions at the right times.
The number of touches he had during the game is also a tribute to his positional play and his understanding of his teammates around him.
He moved into pockets of space and made himself available in all areas of the pitch when his teammates were under pressure and when Chelsea were trying to make the most of space on the attack.
Most importantly, he was 100% accurate with his through balls when it counted and played a world class pass to Andre Schurrle for Chelsea’s second goal of the game.
Jose Mourinho has often stressed the need for his players to have a more defensive side to their game, tracking back and working hard out of possession and there is also evidence of that from Fabregas.
He won three tackles and while that’s not a huge number or his main role in the team, it shows that he’s working hard to try and win back possession as quickly as possible; a key trait of the Barcelona team he’s just moved on.
The trick for the Spaniard is how he now reacts when teams find ways to keep him quiet and in the big game occasions, which could determine the location of the title next year.