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Guus Hiddink praises Eden Hazard and Cesc Fàbregas, looks forward to beating Tottenham next

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Collective bad performances were the tale of Chelsea's first half of the season. Things started to improve a bit once José Mourinho departed and Guus Hiddink took over as manager, but the Blues still failed to put on truly dominant showings — especially when facing teams in the Premier League.

While our 4-1 win on Saturday against AFC Bournemouth wasn't exactly dominant despite the scoreline, it was certainly pleasing to see the team turning up to the occasion in the second half — Eden Hazard and Cesc Fàbregas, two of the most important players in our title-winning campaigns in the Premier League and the League Cup last season, finally performing at a world-class level, together and at the same time!

In his pre-match press conference on Friday, Hiddink told the media that Hazard wouldn't be able to feature for the entire match. As it turned out, he was wrong.

"We worked with Hazard for the last 10 days with the group, looking at the way he moved. He enjoyed it, he was light in his movement, so we said he'll start this game. We talked about 45 minutes or a bit more, but in the end he was enjoying it so much that he could do the whole game."

-Guus Hiddink; source: ESPN

Unlike Hazard, Midfield Maestro, and potential regista under Antonio Conte's guidance, Cesc Fàbregas has had a few good showings already this season, but according to Hiddink, today's performance takes the cake.

"[Fàbregas] was enjoying himself very much and he's one of the few players who have this vision. When he's on the ball he knows that he can execute what he is thinking, and we know that when he's on the ball we can have running players who make his play effective."

"There have been other games [this season] but this was one of his best. I like it when these players get the attention but he can play like this when there's a balance of quality around him. That's what we coaches always have to look to do. When you have a good balance in the team they can execute what they're good at."

-Guus Hiddink; source: ESPN

Hazard and Fàbregas weren't the only players who turned today.   Most of our players picked up the slack following a lackluster first half in which, despite the lead, we were living very dangerously. Hiddink was happy to see the group's reaction in the second half, as they finished the game in a rather commanding fashion.

"We are very pleased with the [team] performance, especially in the second half. In the first half it was a very open game. We played a team that are very good tactically in building up [play]. They could have scored [more] in the first half and we could have scored also. It was a very open, entertaining game."

"We made some little changes to positions at half-time [switching Pedro to the left and Hazard to the right] and from there on we controlled [the game] and were very dominant in the second half."

"It was good to see that the players enjoyed playing and looking for the attack. It was good to see the discipline and see some players who were absent recently were enjoying themselves and scoring the goals."

-Guus Hiddink; source: ESPN

Our next game is against Tottenham Hotspur with our rivals looking to close the gap between themselves and league leaders Leicester City. Absolutely no reason for Chelsea not to be motivated for this occasion then.

"‘We have talked about it this week, that we don't want this season to fade away. The players responded very well and this was an intense game."

"We go into next games with nothing effectively at stake for us but if we play like we did today then, although a win is not guaranteed, the attitude means the players will do everything until the end of the season. We play the next game to win and that is Tottenham."

-Guus Hiddink; source: Chelsea FC


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