Since losing in the Capital One Cup quarter-final to Sunderland, Chelsea have gone seven matches unbeaten - winning six and drawing one, conceding only two goals and scoring 13.
Despite all this it would be hard to say that Chelsea have really got out of second gear. The likes of Manchester United, Hull and Southampton all frustrated Jose Mourinho's men for a time but were ultimately dispatched without too much sweat.
Contrast this to before the 0-0 draw to Arsenal. The difference is like night and day.
A month ago Chelsea looked vulnerable at the back and goal-shy up front. Teams believed they would and did score against Chelsea. Stoke and Sunderland scored three apiece whilst Newcastle and WBA netted a brace each.
At the same time Chelsea were wasting chance after chance.
Even at their worst, however, Chelsea remained in touch with the league leaders. They now sit just two points behind first placed Arsenal and one point behind Man City.
Realistically, both Arsenal and Man City are unlikely to play much better than they
Arsenal are just one injury up front or at centre back from struggling to put together a truly competitive staring XI.
Whilst Man City will struggle to keep up and/or improve on the sheer quantity of goals they currently scoring. Both City and Arsenal are playing as well as they can. They are in first gear and have been for some time.
Chelsea however have significant room for improvement. The signing of Matic will add
a degree of dynamism to the midfield that it has been at times lacking. In attacking midfield Hazard and Willian are clicking. Whilst upfront the likes of Eto'o and Torres seem to be rediscovering their scoring touch.
Add to this Jose Mourinho's ability to grind out win after win relentlessly and Chelsea must now be considered favourites for the title.
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