Cesc Fabregas has admitted that holding Tottenham to a 2-2 draw in the Battle of the Bridge in 2016 and stopping the North Londoners from winning the title felt as good as winning a trophy.
Having played for two of Tottenham’s biggest rivals in Arsenal and Chelsea, Fabregas is understandably not a popular figure among Spurs fans.
The animosity towards the Spaniard intensified particularly during 2016 when the midfielder admitted on Sky Sports’ MNF that he was hoping Leicester would beat Spurs to the title.
Leicester’s title win was eventually sealed after Tottenham’s draw at Stamford Bridge on May 2, 2016 – a game which will go down in Premier League folklore for the numerous nasty tackles and brawls that broke out between the two sets of players.
Chelsea managed to pull themselves back from two goals down to draw the game and Fabregas has opened up on how elated he and his Chelsea teammates were after denying Spurs the title.
In a column for The Telegraph about the significance of derby matches, the 34-year-old also revealed that John Terry, in his final match for Chelsea, had warned his teammates to never let Tottenham overtake the Blues.
Fabrigas wrote: “There are certain players who really feel these rivalries and will make sure they do their best to make everybody else understand.
“Before John Terry was going to play his last game for Chelsea, he made a speech in which he told the players to make sure Tottenham would never overtake Chelsea or be better than them.
“Winning a derby can feel close to winning a trophy and it was like this when I won the Battle of the Bridge with Chelsea that meant that Tottenham could not win the Premier League title in 2016.
“I had been on television not long before the game and said that I did not want Tottenham to win the League, which I know upset their supporters and probably their players.
“Sometimes as players, you have to be so politically correct and speak like a politician, but I was just being honest and speaking my true feelings. I did not think I went over the top because I think people know that I don’t want Spurs winning the title, ever.
“There were some accusations made against me after that game about me trying to provoke the Tottenham players, but, honestly, I was hit so many times in that game and I think they were just upset about the fact they had been winning.
“Even though we had not won the game, drawing and stopping Tottenham winning the title felt similar to a trophy and I remember I went out to celebrate after the game, like I would have if we had just won the League or a cup. It was just one of those moments you wanted to enjoy.”
Spurs Web Opinion
The Battle of the Bridge will certainly go down as an all-time classic but as much as Chelsea fans like to claim that they stopped us from winning the title, that clearly was not the case.
Although it was our draw at Stamford Bridge that mathematically sealed our fate, our title chances were over when we failed to beat West Brom at home a few days before our clash against Chelsea.
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