Graham Potter matches Antonio Conte in rare Chelsea feat and can pass Tottenham boss v Brentford
Chelsea have now won four matches in a row whilst keeping a clean sheet for the first time in nearly six years
“I think it’s a collective desire to do the ugly stuff in the game,” the words of Graham Potter when asked what’s behind Chelsea recording four clean sheets in a row.
“A collective idea to help each other and to be together,” Potter added. “If we have to suffer, we will suffer. We have humility and we know sometimes the opponent can get the better of us, that is normal in football.
“But you can see the players running and can see players getting bodies in the way to block shots. That is an important part of the game because we’ve got the quality in the group.”
The “ugly stuff” comment from Potter stands out more than anything else there. It’s true. Often over the past season or so, Chelsea haven’t been able to do that. A lot of the time when a team would put the Blues under pressure, the defensive line would crumble and the game could be taken away from them.
Now, though, in Potter’s first full month in charge of the side, there looks to be an adaptation process to when another team is on top in the game. See Aston Villa on Sunday, for example. Villa were beginning to get a foot-hold in the game and Chelsea had to adjust.
They did so at half-time, making a few changes to try and gain a bit more control. Mason Mount confirmed that to be the case after the match.
“We knew we needed to change something,” Mount said to reporters at Villa Park. “It didn’t feel right in the game. But the most important thing was to be 1-0 up at half-time, then we could take a breather, speak and make a few changes.
“The second half was not as frantic. We had a bit more control. They are always going to have chances, they are at home, throwing everything at us to get a goal, and they are fighting for every ball.
“Listen, these games away from home are never easy. When you come away from them 2-0 with a clean sheet, then it is exactly what you need.”
Sunday’s 2-0 win at Villa Park was Chelsea’s fourth clean sheet in a row. It’s actually the first time since December 2016 under Antonio Conte that Chelsea have kept four clean sheets on the bounce while also winning all of those games.