Conte Making Formula Work at Chelsea

Chelsea’s 2-0 victory away to Southampton brings up not only the Blues’ fourth straight victory in the Premier League, it is also the club’s fourth consecutive clean sheet as the West London club sit just one point off the top of the standings following their rich run of form.

When the signing of Antonio Conte was announced back in April, Chelsea fans were very excited about the then Italy manager’s pending arrival at Stamford Bridge. Conte has a record of producing football team which are solid at the back and tough to beat therefore he has been a highly sought manager for a number of years.

Results early this season did not reflect the Conte model at Chelsea. When the Blues were rolled over 3-0 by Arsenal, panic bells started to ring around the club. That result brought up Conte’s third consecutive game in the league without a win.

Like all good managers do though, Conte used that result against the Gunners to bring a change in fortunes at the club. His side immediately responded in a positive manner by winning 2-0 on the road at Hull.

There were further signs that Chelsea were improving when they hosted Premier League champions Leicester at Stamford Bridge just seven days later. Diego Costa scored his second goal in as many games very early in that fixture as the hosts went on to win the tie 3-0. Not only were the Blues hot in front of goal, their defence held firm to deny the visitors anything from their encounter. That result made the bookmakers react too and is one of the reasons Chelsea are now a top price of 6-1 with the best bookies for the Premier League title this season.

The big test of how far Chelsea have progressed under Conte was always going to be the game against Manchester United earlier this month. It was the first time that the Special One had returned to Stamford Bridge as United’s manager and since he was sacked by the club last December. Chelsea ran rampant on Mourinho’s side, winning 4-0 in a comprehensive victory.

Just like they did against Leicester, Chelsea got off to a fast start with a goal coming their way inside the opening 40 seconds from Pedro, a player who had struggled to really settle at the club last season under Mourinho.

Goals from Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante made it a memorable afternoon for Conte but what he would have been most pleased about would have been the way his side shut down the United attack which included Zlatan Ibrahimovic, world-record signing Paul Pogba and former Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata.

The trip to Southampton at the weekend was also never going to be an easy task for Chelsea as the Saints are going well in the Premier League themselves under new manager Claude Puel. The Blues though made easy work of the trip as they came away with all three points in the 2-0 win.

Conte must now keep the momentum going as this season’s Premier League race could be one of the tightest in history. Chelsea’s recent run of form though has ensured that the Blues are very serious players when it comes to race for the title in the 2016/17 campaign.