Fabregas and Costa shine as Chelsea issue an early warning

Aug 19, 2014

Blues come from a goal behind to dispose of Burnley, as Mourinho attacks referee and Barcelona

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Burnley 1 Chelsea 3. Jose Mourinho celebrated Chelsea's impressive start to the Premier League season with a familiar attack on officialdom and a criticism of how Barcelona had squandered the talents of Cesc Fabregas.

The Spanish midfielder returned to London in the summer after three unsatisfactory seasons at the Camp Nou. Having built his reputation at Arsenal, Fabregas now finds himself at Chelsea and judging by his performance on his Premier League debut for the Blues he could play a decisive part in their title challenge this season. Named Man of the Match for the way he ran the midfield  against Burnley, the 27-year-old had Mourinho purring at the end of the evening.

"I agree with Cesc being man of the match because he and [Nemanja] Matic controlled the game and dictated the intensity of it," declared the Chelsea manager."Fabregas was our first choice for that position. I know clearly what the player is because we were so long in the same league."

Mourinho first came across Fabregas during his first stint in charge of Chelsea, when the player was at Arsenal, but more recently the pair have crossed paths in La Liga during Mourinho's reign at Real Madrid. "For the last 10 years we have been in the same league for six or seven seasons [so] I know exactly what he will bring," explained the Portuguese. "For Barca he was the fake nine, the number ten and winger but I know and he knows what is his best position so he is giving exactly what we need. Quick thinking in midfield. He brings people in the same direction. I am really happy."

Mourinho was also pleased with another debutant, Diego Costa, who levelled for Chelsea shortly after Scott Arfield had given Burnley a shock lead at Turf Moor on 14 minutes. Andre Schurrle and Branislav Ivanovic then added two more goals for the visitors to give Chelsea a 3-1 advantage at the interval that they never looked like surrendering in the second period. Describing Costa's display as "fantastic", Mourinho claimed the Spanish striker, who arrived from Atletico Madrid in the summer, had been unfairly booked for diving by referee Michael Oliver when it was clear he had been caught by the trailing leg of Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton. "We should have had a penalty and it wasn't unlucky, it was unfair. It wasn't simulation but a clear penalty," said Mourinho, who preferred Thibaut Courtois in goal to Petr Cech. "[But] there is no penalty and a yellow card so I hope he does not get more unfair decisions."

Burnley's next match is a trip to Swansea on Saturday to play the conquerors of Manchester United last weekend and manager Sean Dyche knows the priority this season is to get a point from such games if they wish to avoid relegation. "We have to be realistic, not defeatist," said Dyche, whose side cost just £5m to assemble. "Our journey is slightly different from Chelsea's... We have to keep going."

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