Álvaro Morata heads Chelsea to victory over Manchester United

This is the kind of result to choke talk of a crisis at Chelsea. The Premier League’s summit may remain distant, but the din which erupted inside this arena at the final whistle while Antonio Conte celebrated manically looking up towards the top tier of the east stand said it all. José Mourinho had waited near the mouth of the tunnel to shake his counterpart’s hand but, as the Italian strode out on to the pitch to acknowledge each side of the ground, he eventually gave up. Even he might have conceded this was Conte’s moment.

How the head coach had needed this. As mystifying as it might have seemed given he has now won 37 of his 49 Premier League games, Conte had come into this game a man under intense pressure. That humiliation in Rome in midweek had left him embattled, all the scrutiny on his relationship with his senior players and the owner as he pleaded for patience in a situation he has long described as “an emergency”. David Luiz’s absence felt significant here. Asked pre-match whether there was anything more intriguing in his decision not even to include the Brazilian among his substitutes, Conte had offered:”Nothing. It is a tactical decision. A tactical decision. (Andreas) Christensen is in good form and we have (Ethan) Ampadu, who is a good young player. The club likes to bring in a young player.”

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