The turning point in Chelsea’s season was Chelsea boss Antonio Conte switching to the 3-4-3 system after the defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates early in the season.
Ex-Chelsea midfielder Ruud Gullit believes Chelsea’s 3-4-3 system has been so effective because it’s very defensive when Chelsea don’t have the ball and very offensive when Chelsea have the ball.
“I was surprised Antonio Conte didn’t introduce his 3-4-3 formation even earlier than he did this season. I just think he was waiting for a good reason to change to what he knows best,” Gullit wrote in Daily Mail.
“It’s not a particularly adventurous tactic because when Chelsea don’t have the ball, it’s 5-4-1. But when they have the ball, all of a sudden it’s very attacking.
“It combines two different ingredients: Italian catenaccio and the flair of the players going forward. For it to work, you need great players at the back and great players up front, and that’s where Chelsea have an advantage over all their rivals.
“All the so-called Big Six have enormous quality going forward. But defensively, Chelsea are the best. Manchester City and Manchester United are not as strong at the back, for example, and that is the difference.
“Chelsea are top of the league and will be favourites to beat United in the FA Cup on Monday.
“They have come a long way from 1995 when I first signed. They are one of the elite clubs in world football.”