For Cesc Fabregas, making his 300th Premier League appearance was a touching moment, capped off by finding the back of the net in our 3-1 win over Swansea.
The 29-year-old became the first Spanish player to reach that landmark after keeping his spot in the starting XI following last week’s FA Cup victory over Wolves.
‘To be honest, I feel humbled and very proud,’ he said. ‘I’ve worked very hard to make it to 300 and all I can say is thank you to everyone who has helped me reach this mark – to Arsenal, to Chelsea, to Arsene Wenger, Mourinho, Hiddink and Antonio.
‘Obviously thanks goes to all the fans who support me, my family and friends as well. It has been many years, although it doesn’t feel like it, it feels like it was yesterday, but it’s been a long journey and hopefully it will be an even longer one.’
As well as giving us the lead after 19 minutes, Fabregas provided the assist for our second goal, scored by Pedro, and he admitted that on another day he may have gone home with the matchball.
‘I could have had a hat-trick, I had a few chances, but the most important thing was that the team won,’ he said. ‘I felt it was a very difficult game and we knew it would be. Swansea have changed since the new manager has come in, they play very compact, so it was difficult for us.
‘Like every Premier League game you have to work hard, you have to dig in, and in the second half we had to show our character and come back into the game. It wasn’t easy at all so I’m very happy for the win.’
Fabregas revealed the players were disappointed to go in all square at the interval after Fernando Llorente’s stoppage-time equaliser cancelled out our No.4’s opener.
‘We had so many chances and we were playing very well,’ he said. ‘I don’t think it was a free-kick to be honest – it was a very soft one for them. It was one of the few chances they could score, and they did, so after that we had to show fight, character and pride, and we did that.
‘I’m happy with everything – the victory and three points was very important. We have to take it game by game and it’s not easy, but hopefully now we can keep it going for a long time.
‘It’s important to keep winning because the more you win, the less you have to worry about the other teams. There’s belief and we just have to get three points after three points.’
Antonio Conte has continually dismissed talk that Chelsea already have the Premier League title wrapped up and Fabregas echoed those sentiments.
‘At the end of the day you play 38 games like everybody else,’ he said. ‘Some teams have a good period at the beginning, other teams finish stronger. Ultimately you will play against everyone and you just have to be regular and try to be solid every time you play. At the moment we feel good but I agree completely with the manager: there is still a long way to go.’