Arsenal defeat forced Chelsea to switch to back three, Antonio Conte says

• Manager admits he is still haunted by 3-0 defeat at Emirates Stadium
• ‘It has taken work as well to take us to the top,’ says Conte

Antonio Conte has admitted he is still haunted by Chelsea’s defeat at Arsenal in September, a capitulation which forced him into the risky decision to switch to a back three despite never previously drilling his team in the system, but which has since proved a tactical masterstroke.

Conte had watched his side wilt at the Emirates Stadium to trail 3-0 at the interval, a deficit they never threatened to retrieve thereafter. The Italian had flung on Marcos Alonso, recently recruited from Fiorentina, for his first Premier League appearance for Chelsea 10 minutes into the second half to instigate that switch to 3-4-3, with the team having won 15 of their 17 subsequent games to establish a nine?point lead at the top.

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