But the Brazil worldwide has proved to be an extremely shrewd acquisition by Antonio Conte, slotting neatly into the centre of Chelsea's back three and spreading reassurance with his aggressiveness in the duel and calmness on the ball. On a personal note, I can't tell you how important it is to me to have the chance to celebrate my fifth title at the end of my last season as a Chelsea player. "For sure, it's a dream". But, all things changed when Conte took the charge.
Conte paced the field post-match, hugging people twice and even three times, and was right in the middle of a line of players as they sprinted toward Chelsea's fans and dived on the wet turf.
Watford manager Walter Mazzarri remains determined his players will not get swept up in the title celebrations at Stamford Bridge.
SKY SPORTSJimmy Floyd Hasselbaink says Antonio Conte adapted to the Premier League quicker than Pep Guardiola Conte had a very hard in the first six-eight games and had to change and had to come up with something. That came in September, when he responded to back-to-back defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal by implementing the three-man defensive system that served him so well in his three Serie A successes with Juventus.
He said: "We started to do our work. It's a great squad of players they've got there but maybe there will be a freshening up, don't lose your best players and add one or two at the top end to go into the [UEFA] Champions League".More news: Conte wants Chelsea to reach 30 wins
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For some, it was Italian coach Antonio Conte, who took over at the start of the season, that made the difference.
"When you arrive after a bad season, 10th place, it means there (are) a lot of problems, not only one", Conte said. I think a lot of players are hungry for winning that as well'.
Substitute striker Michy Batshuayi's 82nd-minute goal gave Chelsea a 1-0 win over West Bromwich, reports Efe. It was Batshuayi's first league appearance since April 1 and his first league goal since he scored the equaliser in a 2-1 victory at Watford on August 20. Whether they will be able to maintain the same intensity and level of fitness now that they are back in the Champions league remains to be seen.
Thibaut Courtois has admitted that the disappointment of finishing 10th in the Premier League last season spurred Chelsea on to glory this time around.