Chelsea showed that they’re not ready to give up on the Premier League title with a 1-0 win over Manchester United at the weekend.
The Blues remain nine points behind leaders Man City but Sunday’s win was certainly a statement victory.
The most relieved man will have been Antonio Conte, whose position as Chelsea manager has come under heavy scrutiny.
There were reported that Chelsea would consider sacking the Italian if they lost to the Red Devils but there’s no need for that.
Instead, Conte got impressive performances out of a number of his players, including goalscorer Alvaro Morata, N’Golo Kante and young defender Andreas Christensen.
How Conte outsmarted Mourinho
An interesting video, made by ‘Premier League: Tactical Analysis’, shows just how Conte was able to mastermind an important victory.
The video points out how Cesc Fabregas was the focal point of many of Chelsea attacks, the Spaniard excelling as a deep-lying playmaker.
Bakayoko caused Man United issues
Tiemoue Bakayoko, who joined Fabregas in Chelsea’s midfield, caused problems for Man United by making runs in behind their defence.
The Frenchman’s movement caused opposing midfielders to get dragged out of position.
Azpilicueta and Alonso both got forward
Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta, playing on the left and right respectively, frequently pushed forward on either flank and it was the right wing-back who sent in the cross that Morata steered home.
Lukaku was isolated
Man United’s problems were highlighted by Romelu Lukaku’s struggles, the Belgian now failing to score in his past seven matches.
But just look at how isolated the Belgian forward was at times.
Whereas Morata excelled at holding up the ball, Lukaku seriously struggled. Incredibly, he didn’t manage a single touch inside Chelsea’s area.
Check out the full analysis below.
Conte: 'We showed great desire and passion'
Conte expressed his delight after the win.
“It's an important victory,” he said, per BBC Sport. “When you play against Manchester United it's always a massive game.
“We know very well this team is very strong. This type of win is important for our confidence. We showed great desire and passion to win this kind of game.
"We can win or lose but our spirit must be this.
“Last season our spirit was in every game - we started this season with a lot of problems. We were up and down. This game showed if we want, we can."
Sunday’s performance was a reminder that, despite their recent struggles, Chelsea remain a force to be reckoned with.
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