A crushing 3-0 defeat at Arsenal prompted Antonio Conte to switch to a 3-4-3 formation, and to say it has worked in Chelsea’s favour is an understatement. The Blues sit top of the Premier League and have won every single league game since that Arsenal defeat. Here are three reasons why Chelsea’s 3-4-3 is so hard to play against.
1) They can defend extremely well
You only have to look at Chelsea’s defensive record since Antonio Conte’s switch to the 3-4-3 system to see just how well Chelsea can defend. Since the switch eight games ago, the Blues have conceded just two goals, one against Spurs a week ago, and one against Chelsea yesterday. They did go on a run of six games without conceding a goal.
The wing-backs are so important to the Chelsea system, and when needed they can drop back in to make a back five when Chelsea are under a lot of pressure. This can be used to frustrate teams, and catch them on the break, and it was a masterclass in counter-attacking football on Saturday from Conte’s side, with two of their three goals coming from quick breaks.
Admittedly, Chelsea were a little lucky to concede just the one goal. Sergio Aguero nearly capitalised on a poor back-pass, and Kevin De Bruyne somehow managed to miss a sitter. Nevertheless, Chelsea have let in just eleven goals this season, boasting the second best defensive record in the top flight.