Chelsea coach Carlo Cudicini said: ‘Cesc is player that is unique in his position, with unbelievable vision and awareness of where his team-mates on the pitch.
‘He is one of the few with ability to give this ball in the defensive line, so precise. His timing. He is one of a kind player that can do that.
‘He has been fantastic for the team he played before us and the contribution that he is giving to this club and this team has been amazing. Cesc is a top, top player.’
One setback for Chelsea came when Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s back trouble flared up in the first half and may rule him out of action until a solution can be found.
‘We are very sorry for the kid,’ said Cudicini. ‘It is a pity. It is something that’s affecting him, something we need to look at and resolve. It has been going on for a while and maybe he might have to stop for a bit to resolve. It is a pity because he is doing very well.’