Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas answered critics that he does not score enough, scoring two terrific goals in extra-time to lead Chelsea to a thrilling victory over Leicester in the league cup on Tuesday night.
And for those who say that he does not run enough, there was an 80-yard sprint to celebrate the second with a knee-slide before more than three thousand traveling fans.
The Chelsea fans had been singing his name for much of the second-half as his influence grew and Leicester’s two-goal lead courtesy of Shinji Okazaki and some generous defending was wiped out.
Gary Cahill pulled one back just before the interval and Cesar Azpilicueta levelled with a volley from 25 yards.
But the two goals in as many minutes by Fabregas rekindled memories of a time when Chelsea were the best team in the country. It was only two years ago.
The first was a run by Eden Hazard, also on as a late substitute, jinking inside from the left and linking up with Costa before a cute back-heel led Fabregas to goal.
He finished with confidence, his first goal since a penalty against Leicester in the final game of last season.
The second from a cross by Hazard which caused confusion in Ron-Robert Zieler’s goalmouth. Costa piled in to make a nuisance of himself and the ball squirted to Fabregas off the head of Danny Drinkwater.
Again, there was no mistake with the finish and an incredible release of joy, not only at the prospect of a place in the EFL Cup fourth round or the scent of victory after Friday’s defeat at home to Liverpool.
‘We showed great character,’ said Fabregas.
‘I was happy to play from the start, first of all, but secondly if I can help the team then fantastic.
‘I know what I can do and it’s a lot for this team.’
It has been a difficult few months for Fabregas unable to convince manager Antonio Conte he is worth his place in the Premier League.
This was only his second start of the season, his other against Bristol Rovers in the previous round of this competition.
Aware of his place on the periphery, he sought for options for a transfer as the market closed before resolving to try and prove Conte wrong.
‘I’m pleased for Cesc because he played a good game,’ said the Chelsea boss.
‘I’m pleased because he showed me great attitude and commitment in training sessions. I’m satisfied with his behaviour. I think this is the right way.
‘I want my players to create good competition in the team and give me opportunities to create the best line-up.’