Cesc Fabregas has questioned why he was dropped for Chelsea’s FA Cup final defeat to his old side Arsenal.
The 30-year-old midfielder started four of the Blues last six Premier League games as Antonio Conte masterminded another Stamford Bridge title success.
But Fabregas, who spent eight years at Arsenal before returning to Barcelona in 2011, found himself among the substitutes as Chelsea failed to secure the double following a 2-1 defeat, from which you can read 16 Conclusions.
A controversial Alexis Sanchez goal opened proceedings for the Gunners, with referee Anthony Taylor over-ruling an offside decision having missed a handball from the Chilean in the build-up.
Diego Costa levelled for a below-par Chelsea after Victor Moses had picked up a second yellow card for diving in the Arsenal box, only to see Aaron Ramsey head home the decisive goal three minutes later.
Fabregas had been introduced in place of Nemanja Matic just after the hour mark, with the Spain international unhappy to have been given a watching brief beforehand.
“I thought I was playing very, very well in the last few months,” he said.
“I was in great form and it was a shame I didn’t start the game. I was playing very well and the team was winning, scoring a lot of goals and defending well.
“That is football, you have to accept decisions. It is a bad day and a shame because we wanted to win. The most important thing is the team didn’t win.
“Sometimes it is all about the coach’s decision. I don’t think I could have done much more this season, it is the coach’s decision and you have to respect that.
“I’m sure he wants the best for the team and if he thinks that is the way to go you have to go with it, we are a team. It is between him and me. I have nothing against Antonio, he has done a fantastic job.
“Of course every player wants to play more, it is in the genes of a winner and I am one of them. I’m here for whatever the team needs and I have shown that during the season.”
Fabregas started just 15 games for Chelsea across the entire campaign and refused to rule out a move away from the club this summer.
Asked if his lack of game-time has made him think about leaving, he said: “Not necessarily, but in football you can never say never.
“Anything can happen but I have always said I feel very, very loved by the fans here and every time I have played I have shown I can play at the top level in this team. It is all about trying to change the manager’s decision.
“It is still a good season. We go home with a bad taste because of what has happened but for sure we would rather win the Premier League than the FA Cup.”
Fabregas was roundly jeered by the Arsenal half of Wembley as he made his way on to the pitch, but he has backed former boss Arsene Wenger to continue, with the Frenchman’s future set to be decided at a board meeting on Tuesday.
“I will speak about his legacy when he stops training,” Fabregas said of Wenger.
“I don’t think that is the case (at the moment), I think he can manage for a long time. Let’s not take anything away from Arsenal, they were better than us and reacted well against 10 men.
“They scored and it made it very difficult because we were tired, the pitch is big and they have good passers of the ball.”
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