Chelsea’s fine form continued with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Middlesbrough on Sunday.
Antonio Conte’s side have now won six consecutive games in the Premier League, all without conceding a goal, and will end a matchweek at the top of the table for the first time since they won the title in May 2015.
However, where a main characteristic of their run has been their ability to tear through teams, Middlesbrough ensured that they did not have it all their own way with Adama Traoré a threat and Alvaro Negredo forcing a good save out of Thibaut Courtios in the second half.
That said, Diego Costa’s goal just before half time proved to be the difference, and where Conte was beginning to feel a bit of pressure two months ago, Chelsea are now very much a main player in this title race.
— Chelsea In Pidgin (@Chelsea4pidgin) November 20, 2016
Social media reflected this change, and acknowledged that this side are very much a force to be reckoned with in the league this season:
– 3rd team to win 6 PL games in a row this season
– 590 mins without conceding
– Top for 1st time since winning PL title pic.twitter.com/WZFNUJvArj
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) November 20, 2016
Chelsea are looking strong. Very strong.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 20, 2016
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) November 20, 2016
20 November 2015: 16th place, 11 pts
20 November 2016: 1st place, 28 pts
Chelsea have made some solid personnel changes over the last year
— Jake Cohen (@JakeFCohen) November 20, 2016
Chelsea’s players applaud the visiting supporters. Conte, leading them, repeatedly punches the air. Great spirit.
— Dan Levene (@danlevene) November 20, 2016
Hate to say it but chelsea look like a unit this season
— Jonathan Fowler (@JonathanFowle10) November 20, 2016
Chelsea fans themselves, meanwhile, are understandably delighted that under Conte they look like they have become a major force in the Premier League once again:
— Siddhant Mehta (@sidd_blues) November 20, 2016
We’re top of the leaaaaaaague!
— Chelsea HQ (@Chelsea_HQ) November 20, 2016
They wrote us off, they laughed at us, they thought we were pathetic.
This man has brought us back to our best.
Antonio, Bloody, Conte. pic.twitter.com/3Wf5EzY4TF
— Uber Chelsea FC (@UberCheIseaFC) November 20, 2016
— Michael Ballack (@Ballack) November 20, 2016
That’s how to go top of the league. #CFC
— Fred Flintstone EsQ. (@T_JAZZIE) November 20, 2016
— TheBluesHQ (@TheBluesHQ) November 20, 2016
6 wins on the trot with 6 clean sheets. Top of the league, havin’ a laugh! #cfc
— Jonathan Sharp (@JLTS87) November 20, 2016
— Craig Hale (@CraigHale24) November 20, 2016
The Blues will face an early threat to their newly-regained table-topper status as early as next weekend, when they welcome unbeaten Tottenham Hotspur to Stamford Bridge.