Chelsea made it three wins in a row, and even kept a clean sheet for first time in a cosmic eon (seven games, to be exact), with Saturday’s 1-0 win over struggling AFC Bournemouth down on the South Coast.
The narrow margin of victory belied Chelsea’s actually dominance in the game however, with only wasteful finishing, one tremendous save from former Chelsea player Asmir Begović, and at least one incorrect offside call preventing the Blues from adding more goals. One of those factors is firmly in our control of course, and it’s the only thing that Antonio Conte rued after the game.
“I saw a lot of positive things tonight. We played a good game for sure. Good football. I must be pleased for this game and the performance. We played very well for a big part of the game, with maturity, with good possession, and we tried to find the right ball between the lines or to switch the play. We created many chances to score. In the first half we could have been more clinical. In this type of game, you must be able to kill the game. Instead, if you keep the result in balance, you risk at the end a draw, but we deserved to win.”
So after three winless, Chelsea have now won three in a row. They haven’t all been pretty — the win against Watford certainly had its fair share of luck — but the one thing that can’t be questioned is the squad’s commitment and fight and will to win, not only for themselves and the fans, but for the coach as well. That’s why the loss at Crystal Palace was so shocking and out of character, but hopefully we’ve now firmly put that performance in the rear-view.
“This group are very honest. They are players who want to fight for something important. If we are able to do this, I don’t know, but for sure we have a great will to overcome the difficulty and try to stay there. In England, in this league, there are six top teams. Four go in the Champions League, and two have to stay out of the Champions League and play the Europa League.
“It’s a good win, also because the other top teams all won, apart from Tottenham. At this moment we must be realistic and go game by game. We have 19 points and we deserve to have 19 points.”
Two incredibly tough and potentially season-defining games await Chelsea the rest of this week. While we can afford to drop points against Roma, nothing less than a win will do against Manchester United.
“It’s a good win for our confidence, a good win before another tough game against Roma in the Champions League.
“A win was very important to give continuity to the win against Watford, and Everton in the Carabao Cup, and now to prepare in the best way possible way for Roma.”
-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC
Onwards and upwards.