Date: 14th December 2016 at 9:45pm
Written by:

By Dominic Toner

Football Insider analyses three talking points from Chelsea’s 1-0 victory against Sunderland in the Premier League.

Fabregas is becoming crucial

Cesc Fabregas was handed just his third Premier League start of the season against Sunderland and scored the decisive goal in the first-half. The 29-year-old was the standout player on the pitch and was outstanding in possession. He is becoming Chelsea’s ace in the pack after being very much a fringe player at the start of the season. The Blues manager Antonio Conte has used Fabregas in recent games and he has reminded people why he is one of the most creative midfielders in the Premier League. He is becoming increasingly important in Chelsea’s bid for the title and they will need his magic touch to unlock stubborn defences.

Chelsea are big title favourites

Chelsea moved six points clear at the top of the Premier League on Wednesday and they are now big favourites to win the title. The Blues are currently on a 10-game winning run in the league and it’s hard to see how they can be stopped, with all of their rivals dropping points in recent weeks. Antonio Conte’s side managed to break past the Sunderland defence without their talisman Eden Hazard and have all of their key players performing. A key spine is beginning to emerge in the side with Diego Costa, N’Golo Kante, David Luiz and Thibaut Courtois all looking at their very best this season.

Teams will set-up defensively

Chelsea have now recorded consecutive 1-0 victories against Sunderland and West Brom, with teams opting to take a defensive approach. The Blues face Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and Stoke in their next three league games and can expect a similar approach. Chelsea will have to continue battling hard and scraping narrow victories. Premier League champions always have to grind out results and Chelsea are certainly being tested by teams in the lower half of the table. The attacking threat of Diego Costa has been nullified to an extent in recent weeks and teams will certainly prefer to keep it tight and limit the space.

In other Chelsea news, the club’s supporters reacted on Twitter to Arsenal’s defeat against Everton.