Friday saw the return of a familiar face. Cesc Fabregas was back to his best for Spain, looking a different player to the one who has turned out for Chelsea this season.
Perhaps Fabregas has been unfairly singled out by Blues supporters and the media, after all he isn't the only player to be drastically out of form. Then again, even he will admit how poor he has been for Jose Mourinho's side.
With the pressure lifted, Fabregas was able to express himself in the heart of the Spain midfield as he assisted a goal for Mario and put Juan Mata through one-on-one. Chelsea fans and staff will be hoping that his impressive display will provoke a resurgence in his club form - but it is unlikely to be that simple.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Article continues below
Cesc benefitted from his manager's trust
Of all the potential reasons for Chelsea's relative meltdown this season, Mourinho's lack of trust in key players looks to be one of the most significant. The public humiliation of Nemanja Matic, dropping John Terry and publicly criticising Eden Hazard have been the decisions that have caught the headlines. But what about Fabregas?
The Spanish international looks lost whenever he steps out at Stamford Bridge. Like a child who no longer knows how to impress his demanding father. In the friendly against England, Fabregas' confidence had returned.
He seems to be the kind of player who relies on the confidence and backing of his manager in order to perform to his maximum. It was at Arsenal where he produced his finest form - it's no coincidence that was under Arsene Wenger - a manager who publicly lauded Fabregas on several occasions.
Can he produce his best form at Chelsea?
To see a return of Fabregas' best form, maybe Mourinho needs to learn a lesson from Vicente Del Bosque. The Special One is going through a hard time, but he needs to understand that his players are as well; until he addresses that then the Blues' poor form looks set to continue.
Although he is one of the better players at Stamford Bridge, Fabregas doesn't look like a leader when playing for the west London club. He's hardly the type to rally round the team and drag them out of trouble. Maybe Cesc needs good players around him for him to look good - when no-one is finishing your assists or making the runs - it's tough for a central midfielder to stand out.
Should he leave Chelsea?
Should Chelsea turn around their form, it doesn't seem like Fabregas will be the inspiration.
Despite claiming he and the Blues squad are fully behind Mourinho, it seems something is not right in Fabregas' world. Leaving the club may be an overreaction, but if he isn't happy then it's hard to see how his situation is going to turn itself around.
It's almost got to the stage where either Fabregas regains his form elsewhere or Mourinho leaves. It's up to Roman Abramovich to decide which route to take.
Can Cesc Fabregas recreate his best form under Jose Mourinho? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below