As Cesc Fabregas heads to Monaco after four-and-a-half trophy-laden seasons at Stamford Bridge, we look back at some of the Spaniard’s most memorable contributions as a Chelsea player.
Setting the table
The ex-Arsenal man made an instant impression on Chelsea fans with two assists on his club debut at Burnley in August 2014 including a gem of a pass to Andre Schurrle for our second goal. With the home defenders anticipating a shot by the Spaniard, he conjured up a perfectly measured pass for the onrushing German to slot home and give us a 2-1 lead after 21 minutes. Fabregas provided 18 assists in his first season at the club, but the first of those remains his most memorable.
Sinking the neighbours
In addition to his assists, Fabregas also weighed in with five goals in his first Chelsea campaign including a crucial strike at Queens Park Rangers in the west London derby in April 2015. With two minutes left in a scoreless game, he made a well-timed run into the box to thump Eden Hazard’s cut-back into the bottom corner of the net as we beat our fierce local rivals and went seven points clear at the top en route to securing the Premier League title.
Coolness under pressure
Chelsea have not lost at home to West Ham United since 2002 and we kept that record going thanks to a brace by Fabregas in a 2-2 draw in March 2016. A deft free-kick in first-half stoppage time cancelled out Manuel Lanzini’s opener for the visitors and, after Andy Carroll had restored the Hammers’ lead, the Spaniard levelled the score again in the 89th minute, calmly converting from the penalty spot.
Turning the tide
Chelsea’s position at the top of the Premier League was in jeopardy when we trailed 1-0 at Manchester City in December 2016 with the home side threatening to add to their lead. However, Fabregas helped turn the tide with a remarkable 50-metre pass from inside his own half to Diego Costa, who controlled the ball and outmuscled Nicolas Otamendi to equalise as the Blues came back to win 3-1. Instead of being two points behind City, we moved four points ahead of them on the way to winning another title.
Hitting the half-century
After scoring his 49th Premier League goal against Everton early in the 2017/18 season, Fabregas had to wait eight months to reach his half-century at Swansea last April. It was well worth the wait as the Spaniard received the ball from Hazard on the edge of the Swans box and curled a first-time effort with his left foot past Lukasz Fabianski for the only goal of the game.
Replacing what was lost
Prior to the 2018 FA Cup final against Manchester United, Fabregas revealed that the FA Cup winners’ medal he had won with Arsenal in 2005 had been lost. He got a replacement though as the Blues beat the Red Devils 1-0 with the Spaniard playing a key role in the only goal, playing a fine through ball to Hazard, who was upended in the box by Phil Jones and converted the resulting penalty.