Chelsea overcame Hull City in a match where both the teams offered little going forward. It seemed Chelsea hadn’t yet regrouped after a morale crushing loss against Arsenal and their first half display certainly suggested so. Antonio Conte will want to work a lot in the international break with his players, knowing the team is nowhere near a finished product. Having the need to deliver a half-time team talk to motivate the players regularly is not a healthy sign and it is something that needs to be rectified before the games start coming thick and fast.
The Tigers, on the other hand, offered little going forward themselves and had to pay the price of some sloppy defending as they conceded 2 second half goals.
We look at three talking points from this game-
CONTE FINALLY ROLLS OUT A 3-5-2
Ever since the tactical Italian took over at Stamford Bridge, there have been diverse speculations on the possible formations he would adopt. And today he finally reverted to his pet 3-5-2 set-up which had previously brought him so much success. John Terry’s return will strengthen the formation but Conte would have been pleased to start off with a win in the new set-up. Victor Moses was the unlikely candidate for right full-back as he selected Alonso on the left wing-back and shifted Azpilicueta to a back three.
HULL CITY LOSING DIRECTION
The Tigers were the pre-season favourites for the drop but smashed all the notions and criticism into smithereens. They won both their opening fixtures much to the shock of the English supporters. But things haven’t quite panned out accordingly since then and they have notched up a solitary draw in their next 5.
Mike Phelan will be a worried man as they have leaked goals at an alarming rate and have also failed to create an impact up front. The international break has to be used sensibly by them and the Tigers should be taking the opportunity to regroup.
BEGINNING OF THE END FOR IVANOVIC?
Antonio Conte became the second manager after Andre Vilas Boas to drop the Serbian due to his poor form. Ivanovic has clearly been appearing in the first team on borrowed time after turning in one atrocious performance after another. But the horrible run of results seemed to have forced the Italian’s hand as he finally wilted to calls of dropping him. With one year left on his contract, many believe it is time over for him at Chelsea.