Wow… What a winning streak that oozes class, passion and the will to win. It’s official that Chelsea are the most improved club in the league in comparison to last season’s statistics. More so, much of that improvement was evident against Southampton, here are the three talking points from the game:
THE RISE OF HAZARD:
During last season’s fall, one player whose form was underwhelming was Belgian playmaker. His fall from grace to grass was well-documented. From being the best player in the country, he slipped down to become a down-cast peripheral forlorn figure. It was obvious that his plight affected the team. A look at the stats revealed just four goals in 38 league matches. That is bizarre by all standards for a player with a magic wand. He was even labelled one of the ‘three rats’ that betrayed and cost legendary club manager, Jose Mourinho his job. He looked like a player carrying the weight of the whole world upon his shoulders.
Then came in Antonio Conte and three months into the new season, Eden is back to his hazardous best. He is obviously enjoying his football again after being drafted to play a free role all over the pitch rather than being stationed as a left winger with defensive responsibilities. Credit to Conte, what a timely change as both the player and Chelsea are reaping the rewards. An all-round excellent performance and well-taken goal shows that one thing is certain, he isn’t finished yet.
Prior to the game, Southampton’s defensive durability was heralded for having the second meanest defense in the league. More so, they were unbeaten at home in the league and have lost just once at home in the year. Sarcastically, the only team that beat them was Chelsea back in February with a 2-1 scoreline.
The Saints threw everything at the Chelsea defence but couldn’t score. A defence that hadn’t conceded a goal since the second half of that killing defeat against Arsenal. The defence withstood the early pressure and two goals to the good at the other end and the game was ultimately won. It was positive to see the brain and brawn displayed by the defence that is yet to concede after 410 minutes of league football. Kudos!
Antonio Conte’s charge that he hates to lose is clearly portrayed by his team. They fight for every ball, tackle and for all three points in every game with brute force. They combine artistic and pragmatic football styles to great effect. The manager’s quashing of their title ambitions until after the festive games sounds witty. But in this form, it is hard to see them written off as title contenders. They are a point behind the league leaders and are excellent both defensively and in attack. This is surely title-winning form. Good work Antonio!
The sky is blue. Cheers!