Cesc Fabregas started just for the second time in seven matches, both in the League Cup, on Tuesday, and while Chelsea gave up two more goals thanks largely to individual mistakes, the team played quite well going forward.
Fabregas, as he'd wont to do, was at the heart of many of Chelsea's best moves and other than a few searching balls from David Luiz, he was the creative fulcrum as expected. Besides scoring the two goals in extra-time, which settled the tie, Fabregas also provided the corner for Cahill's goal as well as the cross that eventually fell to Azpilicueta to smash home. By my count, that's two goals, an assist, and a secondary assist, truly a job very well done.
Operating first in a two-man midfield with Matic, then in a three-man configuration with Chalobah (!) providing the solid base, Fabregas staked his claim for a starting spot on Saturday against Arsenal.
After the match, he talked to Sky Sports' on-pitch interviewer and while he expressed his happiness at starting and and the great character shown by the team, he made the media the focal point rather than hinting at any sort of internal strife. Top man, Cesc.
"I was happy to play, first of all, from the start. Secondly, if I can help the team, fantastic. Hopefully this will shut up a few journalists, a few dailies, a few whatevers who was talking rubbish all the time and focus on what is important, on Chelsea winning, focusing on playing well, and when I have the chance, on showing what I can do, which is a lot for this team."
Gary Cahill meanwhile talked about the sloppy start and Conte encouraging the team to keep going and to build on the goal right at half time. Those two Okazaki goals were ridiculous, but Chelsea's comeback was even greater. Well done, everyone!