After a first half of mixed fortunes for us, we eventually overcame a stubborn Southampton side on Tuesday night, and while the win is all that matters, there are a couple of things that were laid bare on the night.
COSTA IS PRICELESS
Diego Costa was going through a very dry spell in front of goal for 6 games prior to that night, and had he failed to score, it would have been game no. 7 in all competitions, but he stepped up as usual and turned everything around. In the beginning of the season and towards the middle, it was the goals of the Spain international that kept us going most of the time, and it was really bad he stopped scoring for a while. People were starting to get agitated, but the man conducted himself well, and bid his time, knowing his time would come again. The two goals he got on Tuesday show that the man definitely hasn’t lost it, and with those goals, his value keeps rising. Costa has always been a pivotal figure at Stamford Bridge, but lately, rumours of another striker coming in got stronger. Some Chelsea fans were tilting towards signing another top striker in place of the man, but Conte and the powers that be have always admired Costa, and with what he did on Tuesday (2 goals and an assist), I don’t see that changing at all. Even if another top striker comes in, he won’t get an easy walk into the team.
OUR ATTACK IS STRONGER THAN EVER
With team confidence seemingly wavering over the past few weeks, one would have expected the overall performance levels to reflect that, but if anything, our attack has at least, become even more potent. Over the past few weeks, we have been scoring for fun. Apart from the two games we lost to United and Palace lately, all our other games have come with impressive wins and goals. The more interesting thing about it all is that we have not been dependent on Costa’s goals anymore. At the start of the season, it appeared we were all about his goals, but lately, other players have gotten in the action more, and I believe it is the way to go if we’re going to retain our leading and get better as a unit.
OUR DEFENSE IS MORE POROUS THAN EVER
I still don’t know what went wrong, but it really beats me how the best backline in the league suddenly starts losing its grip on things. We started off the season as the best in the league, went on a decent run of clean sheets, so what is happening? We have been conceding game after game, and it’s not healthy. If we really want to build from this season’s success, then we must get better in every angle/department, not just one. Our backline keep making silly mistakes especially from crosses and setpiece situation. Conte has to quickly get the situation under control before it costs us more. Remember, it’s not yet uhuru, we have a high-profile team to play in the FA cup still and some tricky league games that might look easy on paper.
With that said, I’m definitely happy with the team’s efforts over this season. Conte has been magnificent. The lads have been committed too, and it can only get better, really.