West Brom 0 – Chelsea 4
On Monday morning West Brom acted.
After the 4-0 drumming at the hands of Chelsea on Saturday, West Brom sacked manager Tony Pulis.
Next weekend the Baggies head to Wembley to take on Spurs.
For perhaps the first significant time this season, the partnership between Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard was purring for Chelsea at the Hawthorns.
Hazard’s shot was scored on the rebound by Morata as Chelsea took the lead.
And West Brom’s defence were bamboozled by Morata’s slick pass to Hazard to tee up the second.
— VOOsport (@VOOsport) November 18, 2017
Chelsea capped their win with further goals from Marcos Alonso and Hazrad’s second of the game.
Antonio Conte’s brand new formation
Everyone remembers last season’s Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea.
The Gunners beat the Blues at the Emirates Stadium in a pivotal match in Chelsea’s season.
On that occasion, Antonio Conte switched from four at the back to three at the back. Chelsea haven’t looked back since.
On Monday, well-versed Chelsea reporter Dan Levene has reported on what could be another big tactical switch from Conte.
It’s argued that the Blues rolled out a new formation at West Brom, as Conte lined up his team in a 3-5-2 formation. Levene explained the tactical upgrade as follows:
If you couldn’t quite put your finger on what was different, the Italian dropped a post-match clue: talking of the two strikers in his side.
At The Hawthorns, and in flashes on other recent occasions, we’ve seen something slightly different – and the main distinction lies in better use of Hazard’s forward energy.
The five-man midfield also creates space for Cesc Fabregas – underused last season.
Some have claimed this 3-5-2 is Conte’s ‘preferred’ formation, but the Blues boss has always insisted against this: he is an engineer who uses the tools available to him, in order to find the best solution. Finally this season, that solution is at his disposal.
"3-5-2 against West Brom? No attacking threat"
Eden Hazard "Hold my beer"… pic.twitter.com/7JiECI28fL
— Simon Phillips (@SiPhillipsCFC) November 19, 2017
Two goals for Eden Hazard against West Brom…
Antonio Conte says the Chelsea star is difficult to stop when he's in that kind of form. 🌟 pic.twitter.com/AvKSXuHeSK
— Goal (@goal) November 19, 2017
The difference in significance Fabregas has when we play 3-5-2 and 3-4-3 is immense, he's like a completely different player. He distributes passes like it's nothing, makes everything so seamless.
— Mod (@HazardChaos) November 19, 2017
Chelsea lose 3-0 to Arsenal last season Conte changes to a 3-4-2-1 giving us better balance & we win the PL
Chelsea lose 3-0 to Roma this season & Conte changes to a 3-5-2 with Bakayoko, Fabregas and Hazard given more freedom, which has given the team better balance… pic.twitter.com/CYKj8acR7V
— ♛ King Bakayoko ♛ (@KingBakayoko) November 20, 2017
Many won't agree but Conte's most interesting comments were around changing Chelsea tactically from last season. The plan is looking like 3-5-2. Hazard & Morata bring so much threat that they only need two attackers #WBACHE #CFC
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) November 18, 2017
Interesting to hear Conte talk about Hazard and Morata, earlier, as 'the two strikers'. Is 3-5-2 the new 3-4-3? Looks that way.
— Dan Levene (@danlevene) November 18, 2017