A humiliated and mutilated group of bleeding lions came back from the Emirates Stadium after being completely cannoned by Arsenal and ‘Wenger-ball’. Penetrable at the back, spineless in the middle and clueless up front, Chelsea were exposed by the Gunners who rattled them on every sphere. The Chelsea manager must have had a couple of sleepless nights to chalk out sustainable and effective tactical ramifications before his side’s trip to the KCOM Stadium and taking nothing away from Hull City’s commendable first half performance, Chelsea looked way superior to them on Saturday.
After a draw against Swansea and a couple of losses to Liverpool and Arsenal, the former league champions aspired to bag all three points by manoeuvring a clinical strategy against the newcomers, which they did manage to get comprehensively. But it was more than a win for Chelsea; in fact, it was the much-needed morale booster. A clean sheet coupled with ruthlessness up front with a shuffle with the formation, the Blues took a gamble by opting for a 3-5-2 formation instead of a 4-2-3-1 and it paid off pretty well.
Antonio Conte operated with three at the back namely, David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta with Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses tracking back every time their side were out of possession (fulfilling the duties of wing-backs). From being a hilarious pack of defenders a week ago, the west London outfit looked resolute all of a sudden, that too being away from home. The resilience as well as the flamboyance reappeared, so did the attacking tooth up front. First half resembled an army chained with shackles that were getting acquainted with the newness of their game-plan but as the game wore on, everything started to click for the Pensioners.
There seemed to be a purpose in the team during the game and rejuvenation after the same. Moses shutting down the opponents on the right, Willian tearing up the defence with his pace and vigour and Costa providing the cutting edge up front: the tray provided every flavour of scintillation to the fans which can be the stepping stone for Chelsea’s leap for the coming games. The international break might be a blessing in disguise for Chelsea as the Italian will get the much needed break to amend the loopholes and blend the new formation adequately.
The win against Hull City was a testamentary evidence of how Conte might like to manage his troops and bagging all three points must have given a huge sigh of relief to Conte. There is still a need of investment of the manager’s tutelage with respect to the tactical nous which could work for Chelsea. Conte needs time to settle in but the win against Mike Phelan’s side reflected upon the image which Chelsea could have been portrayed as since the start of the season. For the time being, the new manager has successfully shrugged off some critics as they build up for a fascinating outing against Leicester City after the international break which they will need to deal with in a much more meticulous manner.