There is already an air of resignation sweeping across the rest of the Premier League that Chelsea will not be caught at the summit, with their emphatic victory against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge epitomizing the qualities that could see Antonio Conte lift the title in his first season in charge.
The former Juventus manager arrived at a club in complete disarray after a forgettable 2015/2016 campaign in which everything went wrong on and off the pitch, and has single-handedly changed the mindset within a team that look more like champions as every week passes by.
Only Tottenham appear to have the confidence and strength in depth to keep any sort of title race alive, even if Betway have written of any hope of anyone catching the Blues, with the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool all displaying signs of weakness that reflects why they are not in Chelsea’s shoes. It may start to feel like a case of déjà vu for Mauricio Pochettino’s charges who were unable to overhaul the gap that Leicester had built up last season, but Chelsea are unlikely to have any sentimental feelings towards their North London rivals.
One defeat in their last eighteen games, a run that includes sixteen victories, is unquestionably title-winning form, with Conte’s energy on the touchline transferring onto the pitch through a team that are firmly behind him – a far cry from the latter stages of Mourinho’s second spell in charge.
Their success is ultimately defined through the level of determination and desire that the team from Stamford Bridge exude in every single game, with Eden Hazard and Diego Costa looking like world beaters under Conte.
Those qualities are exactly what Arsenal lacked as Chelsea controlled the game; the Blues simply wanted it more, with Olivier Giroud’s late consolation goal for the visitors doing little to restore any sort of pride into a lacklustre performance which puts even more pressure on Arsene Wenger.
A wonder goal from Hazard, sandwiched between goals from Marcos Alonso and Cesc Fabregas against his former club, secured a margin of victory that was the least Chelsea deserved as they put a severe dent in any hopes that Arsenal had at ending their long wait to emulate the “Invincibles” of 2004.
It would not be beyond the realms of possibility for Chelsea to remain unbeaten for the rest of the season, such is how impressive they have been playing. A defensive solidity is matched by wonderful, free-flowing football at the other end that has proved too much for the rest of the Premier League to handle, and even if Betway have made the Blues odds-on favourites to lift the title, Conte is not the sort of manager to let complacency set in.
Upcoming fixtures against Burnley, Swansea, West Ham and Watford provide a fantastic opportunity for Chelsea to put further daylight between themselves and their nearest challengers, and with some of them having to contend with the return of European football in the coming weeks, it is difficult to see anything but the title going to Stamford Bridge.
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