After back-to-back three-goal losses, Chelsea responded with an ultimately straightforward three-goal win over West Bromwich Albion on Monday night. The much-needed three points ensured that Cheslea remained in the thick of the top four race, which sees second-place Manchester United and fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur separated by just four points with eleven games left in the season.
It wasn’t a perfect peformance from the Blues, and if Jay Rodriguez doesn’t rush his shot when gifted a chance by Victor Moses, perhaps we’d be looking at a very different outcome right now. Margins can be very small in football, after all. But Chelsea did settle down after a shaky start, with Eden Hazard once again taking center stage, Olivier Giroud playing well on his full debut, and even the defense showing some solidity after the initial concerns.
Afterwards, Conte reassured that this performance against the Premier League’s worst team was far from Chelsea’s best, but given the low confidence levels after the past month and a half, the win was satisfactory indeed.
Conte on needed win: "I think we must be satisfied to win the game and get three points. For sure, we can play better. We can play with more confidence and after two bad defeats our confidence went down" #CFC #CHEWBA— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) February 12, 2018
Once the goals started flowing, the mood palpably improved, which now hopefully will be leveraged into another straightforward win in the FA Cup against Hull City on Friday before the massive test of Barcelona awaits on Tuesday.
Those European nights at the Bridge are always special, and with the stadium in full support of the team, anything is possible.
Conte: "I have to thank the fans, because they showed me great support. I think that they are reading speculation about me. For sure I am grateful for the fans to support me in this way. I am pleased."— Dan Levene (@danlevene) February 12, 2018
Conte: "To feel this atmosphere around me is very important. To feel that people are appreciating my work here at Chelsea, it is important. Me and the players re trying to do our best to give them the best satisfaction."— Dan Levene (@danlevene) February 12, 2018
So, a good first step on the road to recovery from Conte’s “bad moment”, to borrow Ancelotti’s phrase.
Onwards and upwards; forza!