Cesc Fabregas' red card means Chelsea star will fall short of Arsenal legend Thierry Henry's Premier League assist record

Fabregas managed 18 assists this season, three shy of a record

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The Independent Football

Cesc Fabregas probably should have broken Thierry Henry's assist record this season.

Against Swansea on 17 January the Spanish midfielder, one of the signings of the season, recorded his 15th assist for a rampant Chelsea team who were running away with the Premier League title.

The 5-0 win was the 22nd Premier League game of the season for Fabregas and Chelsea and he only needed six more assists to beat Thierry Henry's record of 20 set when the Frenchman was the best player in England back in 2002-03.

At that point of the season Jose Mourinho's Chelsea were unstoppable, averaging 2.3 goals per game with Fabregas pulling every string and controlling every game.

But as the season wore on, tiredness, injury and a slight loss of form affected the Spaniard and he - and therefore the Blues - lost their attacking fluency and became like a Mourinho team of old.

Fabregas slowed down in the second half of the season, missing games through injury and tiredness

From 18 January until now, Chelsea played 15 matches, winning nine, drawing five and losing just one as they went on to secure the Premier League title with three games to spare.

But the wins and drawns became more and more nervy and the average goal rate plummeted from 2.3 to just 1.2 goals per game - 19 goals in the next 15 matches - fewer than Leicester City, Aston Villa, Stoke City and Crystal Palace.

Unsurprisingly, Fabregas struggled to and managed to create just three assists in his next 13 games, including the defeat to West Brom next match.

Thierry Henry recorded 20 assists in 2002-03

Stuck on 18 assists Fabregas was stupidly sent off at The Hawthorns leaving him with a straight red card and a three game ban that means he'll miss the first two matches of next season.

And no new record.