Chelsea impress in tough run

Nobody likes an international break, but in the case of Chelsea’s season so far, this feels like an acceptable one.

Blues fans will have been so thoroughly exhausted by a quite extraordinary run of games that they need a break almost as much as the players. We wrote before this run that we’re in the middle of that things could get nasty, but true to our form of earlier in the campaign, we’ve actually done better against these stronger teams than we have in our games against the division’s weakest sides.

It began with a rather heartbreaking 2-2 against Arsenal, a game where we were 2-0 up and felt certain to win. That pain was compounded in our next game, a loss to Brentford that really gave the sense we were back to square one.

After that we played two of the most incident packed games we can remember in the space of week. A 4-1 win over Tottenham and a 4-4 draw with Man City.

If there was ever a time for a fortnight off, this was it.

Mauricio Pochettino can look back at this last chunk of the season with a lot of positivity despite the fact it was one win from four. The chances were there for much better results, and this was all against some the top teams in the league plus our bogey team Brentford.

Don’t think the fun is over however – when we return it’s straight back into action against some of the stronger teams in the Premier League. We face Newcastle, Brighton and then Man U to close out this tricky run, and any bookie who accepts boku payments will be giving long odds on us winning all 3 of those.

But just as we saw in this last patch, we don’t need to win them all. Playing well and picking up points is good enough for this team in transition, as long as we are then totally ruthless in out games against the weaker teams are the season goes on.

The problem is that we have definitively not been ruthless thus far, and beating those teams will not have suddenly got any easier. But there is a glimmer of hope – by the time we reach the game against Everton on the 10th of December and end of tough fixtures, Christopher Nkunku should be very close to a return, and our inability to break down low blocks may be about to be cured.

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