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Cesc: I never expected to play for Chelsea

ESPN staff
August 18, 2014 « Palmer has surgery to fix abnormal heartbeat | Suarez finally makes Barcelona debut »
Cesc Fabregas pulled the strings in midfield against Burnley © Getty Images
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Cesc Fabregas has admitted he never thought he would be playing in a Chelsea shirt after inspiring their 3-1 win against Burnley in his first Premier League game for the club.

After an eight-year spell at Arsenal, Fabregas marked his return to English football from Barcelona with two assists and a man-of-the-match performance at Turf Moor.

The midfielder had been mooted for a return to the Emirates Stadium, but eventually signed for Chelsea in a £30 million deal, with Jose Mourinho insisting he turned down the chance to reunite with Arsene Wenger.

"It's something I would've never expected," Fabregas told Sky Sports, when asked about playing for Chelsea.

"Football is unexpected, it brought me here and I will give my best to be as good as I can be. I'm very happy at the moment, I want to play football."

Chelsea fell behind to an early Scott Arfield goal at Turf Moor before Diego Costa quickly levelled.

However, Fabregas then stole the show with a sublime through ball to set up Andre Schuerrle and a pin-point corner for Branislav Ivanovic to make it 3-1.

"You always want to do well, I love playing football," Fabregas added. "We have a very talented young team, it's so far, so good. I'm enjoying it, everyone has treated me so well.

"They've made it so easy for me, everybody has welcomed me since day one. I'm comfortable with the staff and all the players, we have a good connection. I'm expecting a really good year in front of us."

Mourinho insisted the choice of Fabregas as man of the match was spot on.

"I agree completely with giving Cesc the man of the match. He really was the maestro," Mourinho told Sky Sports.

"He controlled the tempo of the game when he was playing with [Nemanja] Matic. When [Jon Obi] Mikel came in for the last 10 or 15 minutes, he was more free and he was always looking for the ball. He was the man that dictated the speed, intensity and direction of the game."

Costa, another of Chelsea's new boys, was impressive as well, taking just 16 minutes to open his Premier League account.

However, Mourinho was left aggrieved after his new striker picked up a booking for 'diving', when he appeared to be caught in the box by Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton.

"His play and interaction with Eden [Hazard, Oscar and [Andre] Schuerrle was very, very good. I felt very, very sorry for him because it was a penalty and never a yellow card," Mourinho added.

"For a player who comes to the Premier League for the first time, when we are preparing him for the philosophy and the mentality and what we all want in the Premier League... The linesman decided no penalty and decided a yellow card, which I think is negative is because already he has a yellow card and he shouldn't."

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