Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa booed by Chelsea fans

A Chelsea fan holds a banner to appreciate Jose Mourinho
Image: There were messages of support for Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge

Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa were booed by the Stamford Bridge crowd ahead of Chelsea’s first match since the sacking of Jose Mourinho.

New interim boss Guus Hiddink sat next to owner Roman Abrahamovich and former striker Didier Drogba for Saturday's 3-1 win over Sunderland but the Dutchman was far from the centre of attention in the build-up to the game.

A number of players in the starting line-up - including Fabregas and Costa - were booed when their names were read out while fans chanted for Mourinho throughout the first half of the contest, as well as displaying banners in support of their former manager.

Chelsea's new interim manager Guus Hiddink (left) and former player Didier Drogba
Image: Chelsea's new interim manager Guus Hiddink (left) and ex-player Didier Drogba

Fabregas was one of the first Chelsea players to take to social media to express his gratitude to Mourinho after he was sacked on Thursday but neither that, nor skipper John Terry's insistence that player power had not prompted the decision from above, was not enough to save him from the wrath of the Stamford Bridge faithful.

The midfielder and Spain international team-mate Costa have been accused of underperforming this season and Chelsea supporters made their feelings clear ahead of the visit of Sam Allardyce's side.

Hazard, Fabregas and Costa singled out by one fan
Image: Hazard, Fabregas and Costa were criticised by one fan

Reporter Andy Burton was at the game and confirmed in the Sky Football live match blog that the booing of Costa and Fabregas had made for a "strange atmosphere". 

"The atmosphere is very strange in here," Burton wrote." Fabregas and Costa booed again when their names were announced on the PA for a second time." 

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Willian was one of few Chelsea players cheered by home fans when his name was read out, but despite not featuring in the matchday squad, Eden Hazard also found himself targeted by a section of the crowd.

Chelsea fans take aim at players
Image: A Chelsea fan takes aim at the players with this banner

One banner held aloft by a fan read: "The 3 rats - Hazard, Cesc and Costa."

Another banner unfurled by a supporter appeared to accuse the players of greed, reading "30 pieces of silver. Judas the players v Jose 'One of Us The Legend'. Always in our hearts."

Branislav Ivanovic says it was an emotional afternoon at Stamford Bridge

Despite racing into an early two-goal lead Burton reported the pro-Mourinho singing intensified during the early part of the game, although the mood improved as half-time approached.

"The chanting for Mourinho has eased off now," Burton reported in the closing stages of the half.

Dozens of banners were unfurled in support for Jose Mourinho
Image: Mourinho may be gone but he is clearly not forgotten

"Why? Firstly, because Chelsea are winning, and secondly because they are playing some exciting, attacking, flair football - which if we are honest, has been lacking under Jose for a while. The mood is starting to turn."

But when Costa and Fabregas were substituted in the second half they were heckled and jeered by some fans before songs in support of former boss Mourinho once again intensified.  

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