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Antonio Conte’s adaptability is helping his Chelsea side to prosper

Chelsea’s manager initially switched to three at the back to avert a rout at Arsenal but his side have not looked back since

At first, the idea was simply to stop the bleeding. Three-nil down at half-time against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium a little over five weeks ago, Antonio Conte switched to a back three. The Chelsea manager had enjoyed success with the approach in his previous jobs with Juventus and the Italy team and, against Arsenal, it restored a measure of stability. Chelsea still lost, 3-0, but Conte could feel the stirrings of something.

Look at Chelsea now. This was their fourth Premier League game since Conte’s tactical move and it was also their fourth clean sheet. Even better from a Chelsea perspective, Southampton never looked like scoring. The only time Thibaut Courtois was worked in the Chelsea goal was in the 28th minute, from a Dusan Tadic free-kick, and the save was entirely regulation.

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