The last time Antonio Conte started Cesc Fabregas against Arsenal, we were bamboozled in midfield, outplayed and ran ragged. The 3-0 scoreline didn’t in any way flatter Arsenal, as it was well-deserved. Ironically, I still believe Cesc Fabregas is the man who will do the job against his former club at Stamford Bridge.
While watching the game against Liverpool, it dawned on me that Diego Costa plays way better when he has Cesc Fabregas behind him. There’s a telepathic relationship between the pair, and Fabregas understands his runs and just the perfect kind of pass to give to him.
Against Liverpool, for over 80 minutes of the game, Costa was isolated and left upfront without any meaningful service. He worked hard and ran across the lines, but all to no avail. His only meaningful involvement was when he won a penalty kick for Chelsea, which he eventually missed.
However, as Fabregas was introduced, with just about 7 minutes left of normal time, Costa looked alive; he got the right passes and was more involved the game.
Beside the Costa factor, Chelsea kept the ball better, broke Liverpool’s pressing game with relative ease, controlled the midfield better and were able to break Liverpool’s defence a couple of times. It only got me thinking — what if the pass master came on much earlier?
While a draw against Liverpool was a good result, especially with our two closest rivals dropping points, a win against Arsenal should be non-negotiable.
With Arsenal facing crisis in their central midfield position, Fabregas is just the right man that will exploit the gaps against a weak Arsenal midfield.