Chelsea’s bid to defend their Premier League title next season has been handed a huge boost.
Star midfielder Cesc Fabregas had been due to miss the first two domestic matches of the 2015-16 campaign after being sent off for violent conduct in Monday’s 3-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion.
Former Arsenal captain Fabregas was shown a straight red card at the Hawthorns after kicking the ball at Chris Brunt’s head from long range.
Chelsea subsequently appealed against the three-match ban, claiming it was excessive.
The FA have accepted Chelsea’s complaint and, as a result, the 28-year-old will only miss Sunday’s game with Sunderland at Stamford Bridge, before becoming available again.
It is not a great surprise that Fabregas was shown a degree of leniency. The incident, which you can watch again below, certainly does not warrant the same punishment as a punch, or a slap.
Furthermore, Monday’s dismissal was just the second red card Fabregas have ever received. His first came during his Gunners days for an ugly clash with Tim Cahill.
An FA statement confirmed: “A claim by Chelsea that the three-match suspension for Cesc Fabregas is excessive has been upheld by an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing.
“Fabregas was dismissed for violent conduct during the West Bromwich Albion FC v Chelsea FC fixture on 18 May.
“The Regulatory Commission has reduced the Chelsea midfielder’s suspension to one match, to be served with immediate effect.”