It’s impossible to overstate how impressive and significant Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League was on Wednesday evening.
The Premier League’s tribulations in the competition have been well documented, but the Blues travelled to a new stadium where the most defensively resolute side in Europe were yet to concede a goal and scored twice in an emphatic last-gasp victory.
And that win only rewarded the quality Chelsea showed in a thrilling contest, particularly in central midfield where the Blues most consistently exerted their dominance over Diego Simeone’s side.
Antonio Conte varied his 3-4-3 slightly to place N’Golo Kante, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas in the engine room and the trio were nothing short of phenomenal, both with and without the ball.
Indeed, between them, Chelsea’s midfield trifecta recorded a whopping 14 tackles and three interceptions to halt those incisive Atletico breakaways – something made all the more impressive by the fact they committed just two fouls.
Likewise, the engine room also provided four created chances and three efforts at goal, highlighting their contributions going forward, while applying over 100 passes.
The quality and control Kante, Bakayoko and Fabregas provided in midfield was very much at the heart of one of Chelsea’s most impressive away wins in the Champions League for several seasons.
But it also begs the question, considering the attacking quality Manchester City have on offer, whether Conte should stick with 3-5-2 when Pep Guardiola’s side travel to Stamford Bridge this Saturday or revert back to his favoured 3-4-3.
Let us know by voting below…