London - Premier League leaders Chelsea's storming 11-game
winning run was forged in their back-to-back defeats against Liverpool and
Arsenal, according to manager Antonio Conte.
Chelsea's 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday equalled the
club record for successive league victories, set over two seasons in 2009, and
left them seven points clear at the top of the table.
Immediately prior to the run, Chelsea lost 2-1 at home to
Liverpool and then fell 3-0 at Arsenal, and Conte believes those results
sparked a change in attitude.
"After the defeat against Liverpool, and also against
Arsenal, it changed something in me, in the players, in the club," the
Italian said, in comments published by British newspapers on Monday.
"We understood the way to go and have a different
season, compared to last season. It was different.
"For this reason, we found the right solution,
formation, but also to improve the quality of the work in all aspects. After
these two bad games, we changed a lot."
The beginning of Chelsea's turnaround can be pinpointed to
the exact moment Conte switched to a 3-4-3 formation during the second half of
the defeat at Arsenal on September 24.
Also read: Mikel ready to quit Chelsea, says Siasia
He has kept faith with the system ever since, with stunning
results, but admits he harboured doubts about whether his players were suited
"Before the game against Liverpool, I understood our
formation wasn't good to face Liverpool, tactically, and we paid for
this," he said.
"Also, against Arsenal, I said to change, because now
we are playing with three central defenders.
"In the history of Chelsea, this never happened, no? To
change it totally, this situation, is not easy. You must go slowly, slowly, and
to put the idea (across).
"In my mind, and also before the games against
Liverpool, there was the will to change, but I waited until the right moment.
"You always hope not to make great changes to the team.
I have players that had only played with four (in defence)."For
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