Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has expressed relief and delight that the reigning champions have shown they are able to win games without star player Eden Hazard, with the Belgian rested for this week's win 1-0 win over struggling Swansea.
Having started the season injured after fracturing a bone in his ankle while on international duty in June, Hazard has slowly been working his way back to full fitness and his best form. But manager Antonio Conte saw fit to rest the Belgian on Wednesday and the gamble paid off.
Defender Antonio Rudiger scored the only goal of the game early in the second half, and Hazard was able to feature in the closing stages as a late substitute without being required to make the key difference and win the game for his team.
"To know that the team is performing and winning without Eden really being involved is very good," Fabregas told the London Evening Standard.
"We started the season without him and he didn't start against Swansea because he is the best player (and needed a rest). We have to cope with the situation. No-one can play every three days even if we want to," he added.
"If you keep playing, you will keep carrying knocks so it is good to have a break sometimes and come back fresher."
Hazard, who has started seven Premier League this season and played a full 90 minutes on two occasions, spent much of the disastrous 2015/16 campaign nursing niggling injury problems, ultimately affecting his ability to contribute.
It would seem that Chelsea, in less desperate need of his skill, have learned their lesson from that time, with Conte able to trust the rest of the squad to get the job done.