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Hiddink explains Cesc Fabregas half-time substitution

Clive Rose/Getty Images

Interim manager Guus Hiddink's starting lineup may have been the definition of whatever the opposite of bold is — it was basically the first-choice eleven, minus a not fully fit Eden Hazard, that won the Premier League last season at a canter but has failed so spectacularly this season — but at his very next opportunity, he made the presence-announcing bold move.  Cesc Fàbregas, Mourinho's no.1 fan (or no.1 villain, depending on which narrative you believe), had been doing his usual Cesc Fàbregas (of 2015) things for the first 45 minutes, leaving the defense well exposed while failing to truly make an impact on the attacking end.

"Today I liked our intensity but we also have to look for a balance in the team. It's a very attacking-orientated team."

"When we have a midfield with all creative players it's beautiful but sometimes you need a balance and I thought John Obi gave us that balance. When you have the creative players such as Matic, Oscar, Willian coming inside and Cesc as well, sometimes you have to choose in a different way."

-Guus Hiddink; source: Chelsea FC

John Obi-Wan Kenomikel, bringing balance to the midfield since 2006.  The ever steady Mikel, one of the three players left over from Hiddink's first reign didn't immediately solidify the midfield, but eventually things did settle down and Chelsea were once again supremely unlucky to not walk away with the full three points.

We'll have to see if this tactical decision is made into a full-time change.  Mikel was a key cog of Hiddink's midfield back in 2009 and he could very well feature more heavily once again than it had become the norm under Mourinho, especially if we revert to 3-man midfield and a 4-3-3 formation that many would prefer.

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