Chelsea are purring again after An­to­nio Conte switch

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports -

“It is a good sys­tem for Chelsea.” If Eden Haz­ard is happy with it, An­to­nio Conte must be get­ting some­thing right.

The Bel­gian No 10 led the praise of Conte’s 3-4-3 at the week­end and as a team Chelsea look al­to­gether more com­fort­able after their new man­ager’s switch-up. Three at the back and three at the front, it seems, is here to stay.

To put it kindly, Chelsea were in some­thing of a mess. Owner Ro­man Abramovich had al­ready been mak­ing trips to the train­ing ground fol­low­ing a com­pre­hen­sive de­feat by Liver­pool be­fore an­other at the hands of Ar­se­nal.

Conte had al­ready been ex­per­i­ment­ing with play­ing three at the back at the Blues’ Cob­ham base but it was their trou­bles on a match day that brought it into the pub­lic eye. At 3-0 down and with lit­tle to lose away at Ar­se­nal last month, the man­ager with­drew Cesc Fabre­gas to latch new boy Mar­cos Alonso on to the left side of his mid­field.

It seemed to stem the tide at the Emi­rates some­what, al­though how much of that was down to Ar­se­nal tak­ing their foot off the gas is cer­tainly de­bat­able.

A week later at Hull City it was used from the start and has been stuck with since. Chelsea have scored five without re­ply since their change in for­ma­tion.

Much of the sys­tem’s suc­cess is owed to the two wing backs who pro­vide wider op­tions in at­tack while al­low­ing the for­wards to wreak havoc in the mid­dle.

The cen­tral mid­field­ers are given plenty of ground to cover and when go­ing back­wards Alonso fre­quently drops into the back­line to re­turn to a more fa­mil­iar back four.

Chelsea’s Eden Haz­ard cel­e­brates scor­ing their sec­ond goal against Le­ices­ter City in their Pre­mier League match at Stam­ford Bridge Oc­to­ber 15. /REUTERS

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