After 12 rounds of Premier League fixtures for the 2016-17 campaign, west London club Chelsea currently tops the league having won 9, drawn 1 and lost 2 of all their games.
Sunday’s hard-fought win over Middlesbrough took the Blues to the top of the log, and they now hold a 1-point lead over 2nd-placed Liverpool.
Their rise to the very top has been an enviable success story considering that they were sitting in 8th place some 6 weeks ago after suffering back to back losses at the hands of Liverpool and Arsenal.
At the end of their 3-nil thrashing at the Emirates in September, Chelsea had conceded 9 goals, scored 10, won 3 games, drawn 1 and lost 2.
But after action resumed following the international break, they have become unstoppable and invincible. And the number 1 position they currently occupy had always been forthcoming. The last 6 games have ended in victories, with a whopping 17 goals scored and not on one occasion has their defence been breached.
This season, the team has kept 7 clean sheets thus far, and that has subsequently seen Thibaut Courtois emerge as an early contender for the Premier League Golden Glove prize.
The Belgium doesn’t only boast of an impressive record in goal in the English top flight alone, no goalie across Europe’s top 5 leagues has kept more clean sheets than he has this season, and of course, he has the solid defence in front of him to thank for that.
Thibaut Courtois: Has now kept more clean sheets (7) than any other goalkeeper in Europe’s top 5 leagues this season
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) November 20, 2016
In all his 12 Premier League appearances this term, no goalie has seen fewer shots (17) than the 24-year-old. This definitely alludes to the fact that there is not a better team defensively than the Blues in England based on current form.
Only Tottenham come close having conceded 1 less goal (8) than Chelsea. However, they have kept 2 less clean sheets (5) than the Blues, and aren’t near impressive as their fellow London club when all-round performance and brilliance are put into consideration.
The overnight success recorded at the back highlights how the club’s unexpected defensive capabilities are nothing but mind-blowing.
While they aren’t the only team to have won 6 consecutive games this term and hold the proud record for the highest winning streak thus far, theirs has been the best. City are the only other team to have done so, as they cruised to successive victories in their first 6 games of the league.
However, the Etihad outfit conceded 5 goals in the process and recorded just a clean sheet. They have shipped 6 more goals ever since and kept just a single clean in their last 6 games.
Conte is slowly turning his rearguard into a solid compact unit that will become even harder to break down than the last time attempts were made as the season proceeds.
The goalie has been a reliable custodian, even though he has seen very little of the ball and has averaged around 1.2 saves per game of recent.
The back trio of Azpilicueta, Luiz and Cahill have been nothing but impressive. From the clearances to the interceptions and blocks. They are assisted by the wing-back duo of Moses and Alonso, while the protective cover of the defensive midfield duo – Matic and Kante – can’t be overlooked.
Chelsea are unarguably the best defensive side in the Premier League at the moment, and from the look of things, they are just getting started.