For the second Sunday in succession Antonio Conte was left delighted by his team’s performance, and the boss also praised the travelling support for their constant backing of his players.
The Blues followed up last week’s 4-0 win over Manchester United with a showing that at least matched it against an in-form Southampton side who have earned plenty of plaudits recently.
The damage was done early in each half, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa each netting cracking goals, and the collective defensive effort was yet again on point with our hosts mustering only a solitary on-target effort. Conte was understandably in a great mood afterwards…
‘I’m delighted, for sure,’ he began. ‘I saw a lot of positive things, above all because we played against a strong team also in a good moment of form. To come here and win wasn’t easy, I said that on Friday.
‘I’m pleased with the commitment and work-rate. The players worked very hard during the game with and without the ball. This is the right way to reach great satisfaction in this championship.
‘We created many chances, and also for four games we have kept clean sheets. It means our confidence is increasing. The players deserve this. I see them every day, the way they are working. It’s important to arrive at this type of result because they can trust the work more, but we know the road is long and it’s important to continue to work very hard to improve.
‘It wasn’t an easy game today but to stay close to first place is good. It gives us great confidence.’
Conte highlighted the attacking trio’s efforts
‘When you see Eden and Diego, and Pedro, working very hard during the game, you are happy. They are strikers and usually it’s a bit difficult for the strikers to work for the team, but their commitment and work-rate is fantastic.’
The wing-backs, Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses, were influential once again
‘This role is very important in this system. You must have good stamina and quality to play as wing-backs. I ask my wing-backs to do offensive and defensive work. Moses is a great surprise in this aspect. We know Moses as a winger, but he’s playing in a fantastic way. Also Alonso, it wasn’t easy to go in to the English league and play in this way, and I’m pleased.
‘In this role, Pedro also can play, in the same way as Moses. Ivanovic or Aina can play a more defensive role as wing-back.’
The boss had a message for the 3,000-strong away following
‘Today I want to thank our supporters. They were fantastic from the first minute until the end. It was fantastic and I want to thank them, from me and the players. I hope to continue always together.’
Conte considered our long-term prospects after another great win
‘Game by game, I am seeing a lot of positive things after games. I have confidence because we can improve a lot. The only way we must continue is to work and don’t look at the table. Now it’s very difficult to talk about a prediction. Many games must pass, above all the first part of the season, then you can see if you can stay up and fight for the title.’