Following the Blues’ emphatic 4-0 victory at Stoke on Saturday afternoon, Antonio Conte spoke in his post-match interview of the good vibes around Stamford Bridge currently.
With the spotlight of the media this season being focused on the two Manchester clubs and their free-flowing attacking play, Chelsea seem to be almost the forgotten team in the title race. However, Saturday’s thumping of Stoke on Saturday proved a timely reminder of the ability the Blues possess.
In a week where Diego Costa’s departure from Stamford Bridge was all but confirmed, Alvaro Morata displayed further evidence that he is more than capable of filling his Spanish team-mate’s void – with a performance Costa himself would have surely admired.
Morata’s maiden Premier League hat-trick, coupled with Pedro’s first league goal of the campaign, completed a comprehensive win for Chelsea, who sit third in the table, only three points off the Manchester contingent.
“It wasn’t easy despite the 4-0 result,” proclaimed Conte. “Now it’s important to rest well and prepare for another game against Atletico Madrid.”
Chelsea remain unbeaten in their last seven games and the form of Andreas Christensen at centre-half has had plenty to do with that this season. The 21-year-old Dane – along with Antonio Rudiger – looked assured once more in the centre of defence in the absence of last season’s talismanic pairing of David Luiz and Gary Cahill, which will provide more good feeling for Conte.
The Blues have now recorded consecutive away wins in the Premier League over Tottenham, Leicester and Stoke – the first time they have won their first three away matches in a league season since 2009/10.
Chelsea’s attention now turns to their crucial Champions League clash at Atletico Madrid on Wednesday evening and Conte will be desperate to keep the positive energy flowing through his squad with changes expected to the starting eleven.
“We are in good shape. We are rotating and the answer from my players is positive. We will be ready,” Conte said in his post-match briefing.
With high-flying Manchester City the visitors to Stamford Bridge next Saturday evening and Atletico before that, it promises to be a huge week for Conte and Chelsea who will be hoping his team are still in “good shape” in seven days’ time.
Header image by Clément Bucco-Lechat (CC BY-SA 3.0)