Chelsea have not know what it is like to lose or draw a Premier League match for over two months. Since October 1st, the Blues have notched eight wins out of eight matches, beating the likes of Spurs and Manchester United and, last weekend, Manchester City as well. Chelsea are now three points clear of second place Arsenal. The pace set — 34 points in 14 matches — is close to an historic best for the club.
Having emerged unscathed from a run of tough games, Chelsea’s match calendar gets eaiser, but also busier as we approach the end of the calendar year and the holiday period. Starting next weekend, Chelsea are set to meet West Brom, Sunderland and Crystal Palace in a seven-day span, and will ten follow that up with four games from Boxing Day through the first week of the new year.
Stating the obvious, it’s now most important to keep the momentum going and not get complacent. The busier schedule might be a blessing or a disguise, especially in terms of squad rotation. Here’s acting captain Gary Cahill expressing similar sentiments.
"Every time we go out on to the pitch it’s like we can’t lose but it’s a nice pressure to have on ourselves. We’re going into a period which is going to be busy for everyone and during those games we need to keep going."
"We’re in a good moment so we need to keep that momentum, keep everyone fresh, keep everyone on the pitch and keep getting results."
“We’ve worked well together and we know how to play that system. A lot of changes to the team maybe disrupts that a little bit, but at the same time we’ve seen the quality we have."
Saturday’s impressive win was keyed by a remarkable counter-attacking display in the final 30 minutes of the game. Goals from Diego Costa and Willian gave Chelsea the lead (and Hazard sealed it late).
Cahill lauded the efforts by his teammates, giving special praise to Diego for his ongoing Player of the Year form.
"It was fantastic for Willian to come back in after what he’s been through recently, it was great he scored his goal and everyone was delighted for him."
"I’ve seen more composure for [Diego], the first half didn’t go ideally for us and we were starved of the ball a bit, likewise he was, so he was scrapping around and not quite getting the opportunities."
"In the last few years maybe he would have got frustrated with that but he kept his cool and in the second half he got more involved with the game. The players around him are playing really well, when we haven’t got the ball they’re having to defend and they’re doing that excellently at the moment."
"He’s one of the best going. There was two of the best on the pitch on Saturday. He’s been fantastic for us this season, he’s showing a lot of maturity and banging in the goals. He’s on fire and we hope that continues."
-Gary Cahill; Source: Chelsea FC
Of course, it’s easy to fall into the trap of the “easy” game, especially several momentous wins in the last couple months, but if Chelsea can maintain this winning streak, we could be looking at a familiar lead-from-the-front scenario in the second half of the season, just as we did in 2014-15. That worked out quite well, as I recall...