London - Chelsea play-maker Cesc Fabregas has saluted the strategy employed by Jose Mourinho for Saturday's 1-0 win over Manchester United, a victory that took the Londoners 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Towering midfielder Marouane Fellaini was instrumental in United's run of six successive victories leading up to the game at Stamford Bridge and manager Mourinho decided to tinker with his side in order to deal with the Belgian's threat.
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Instead of picking Fabregas in the holding role with Nemanja Matic, Chelsea pushed the Spaniard further forward and brought young French defender Kurt Zouma into the side alongside the big Serb.
"We had to put someone on Fellaini, especially for the long balls, so yes our style changed," Fabregas told the club's website (www.chelseafc.com) on Monday.
"I thought Zouma did extremely well. I think his future is as a centre back but he can do the job very well in central midfield when it's needed.
"He played very well against Spurs in the final of the Capital One Cup, he played well against West Ham away (in the league) and again this weekend. He's a top, top boy," said Fabregas.
"If I played there normally I would struggle a bit more to deal with long balls and the physical aspect of the game. That's why Mourinho is who he is and has won what he has won. The plan worked very well."
Chelsea, who lifted their first trophy of the season when they beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the League Cup final last month, will effectively seal the Premier League title with a win at second-placed Arsenal on Sunday.
"We are level on games now, we are 10 points in front and we don't want to give them hope to put pressure on us," the 27-year-old Spanish international said of his former club Arsenal.
"We have to put in a good performance because we know the Emirates is always a difficult place to go.
"We want to give satisfaction to the supporters. It's been five years for them without winning the Premier League title, for me it's been 27 years, so I'd love to win it as soon as possible."