Chelsea came from a goal behind to retain their place at the top of the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over London rivals Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge.
Pedro and Victor Moses fired Antonio Conte’s side to their seventh consecutive league victory and the Italian will now harbour genuine ambitions of lifting the title when the season concludes in May. Chelsea may not have been at their fluent best but they certainly demonstrated their ability to grind out a result when the chips are down.
Tottenham did manage to break through the hosts defensive wall courtesy of Christian Eriksen, the first time that Chelsea have conceded a goal in 601 minutes of play, but a derby-day defeat will have done little to lift spirits after they were knocked out of the Champions League in mid-week.
Chelsea demonstrate title credentials
They say that a team’s title credentials are demonstrated by their ability to win matches when they are playing poorly. It may be one of the oldest clichés in football but it certainly rung true on Saturday evening at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea were sluggish, ineffective and firmly on the back foot during the first half and Tottenham were well-worth their one goal advantage. Indeed, it was a far cry from the swashbuckling, fluent performance that The Blues had exhibited in their previous home fixture when they demolished Everton.
Yet despite finding themselves a goal down and short of ideas as to how to turn the game around Chelsea did what football ‘true champions’ do – find a way to win.
Pedro’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time was certainly a crucial turning point. The Spaniard created something out of nothing and his beautiful curling shot will certainly have changed the dynamic of Conte’s forthcoming team talk.
It also re-enthused the home supporters and Chelsea came out after the interval looking rejuvenated and with renewed confidence with Victor Moses’ strike securing what at one time looked to be a highly unlikely victory.