Chelsea snatched a narrow 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park to continue their hot streak, thanks to a goal from Diego Costa.

Chelsea came into the match on the back of a fighting 1-0 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. The Blues looked to continue setting the pace at the top of the Premier League as they traveled to Selhurst Park to face a Crystal Palace side that has seen a slight resurgence after a horrid series of results.

It turned out to be another toiling night for Conte’s men with the usual hero of late, Diego Costa, coming to the rescue as Chelsea recorded their third 1-0 win in a row in the Premier League.

The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at few of the more significant talking points to emerge out of the narrow Blues win.

DieGOAL Costa at it again

Diego Costa seems to be back to his best form of when he joined Chelsea and to be honest, the Spaniard seems to have improved himself to become a better player than what he was when he arrived at Stamford Bridge. There seems to be an added desire and intent in the forward to get the victory for his side and his goals have proven decisive on a number of occasions this season.

It proved decisive again on Saturday as the player scored the only goal of the game at the end of the first half. The goal means that the player has surpassed his tally from the previous season already with a little more than half the season remaining and his exploits may just be the point that tips Chelsea towards the title, that too, in Conte’s first season in charge at Stamford Bridge.

Azpilicueta reveling in his new role in the 3-man defence

Cesar Azpilicueta was chosen by Antonio Conte for the right side of the 3-man defence, a move that was questioned by many at first. But the Spaniard’s performances have silenced all the doubters with Azpilicueta emerging as, perhaps, the best defender in the back three based on his defensive impact and overall performance.

The 27-year-old produced a Man of The Match-worthy performance at Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace were unable to break down the Blue wall. It was also Azpilicueta’s beautiful cross that found Diego Costa, who scored the winner for Chelsea. Conte would be hoping the player continues to rock on at the back as the Italian manager seeks a Premier League triumph in his maiden season in England.

Breaking old Chelsea records? Conte help it

From being tipped to take the fall early in the season to entering the record books at Chelsea, Antonio Conte seems to have turned it all around; that too, with noteworthy aplomb. The defeats to Arsenal and Liverpool and the fragility of the Blues defence almost look a tale of the distant past and not something that happened a few matches ago.

Chelsea are now on a 11-game winning streak, a feat unrivalled by any of the previous iterations of the Blues squad in a single campaign. And that too, on the back of, perhaps, their poorest campaign in over a decade with only a couple of additions that have slotted in straight into the starting eleven. And the run doesn’t seem like stopping anytime soon.

Chelsea show ominous crowning signs

Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea have all been dominant at different phases this season. But where Chelsea stand out among the three is the Blues’ defensive record and ability to nick 1-0 victories, which, as per majority of the pundits and experts, show signs of not only the mental aptitude of the whole squad but also an ominous sign of the team being crowned the champions.

The aforementioned stat tells you all about the defensive strength that Conte has brought to the once fragile looking squad. Add to that their ability to nick 1-0 wins over their opponent, the one against Crystal Palace being their third consecutive one while having a total of four 1-0 wins in the league this season.

Positive signs for Palace and Pardew

While everyone has been going gaga over Chelsea’s ability to nick a narrow win at Selhurst Park on Saturday, the result also gave out some positive signs for Alan Pardew and his men. The Eagles dominated the ball, having more possession than Chelsea while they also had a better passing success rate.

Also, on the defensive front, Pardew’s men managed to restrict Chelsea at large, with Diego Costa scoring with his only attempt in the first half. The Eagles are just above the relegation places and even though the result will not help too much in pushing them up to where they, perhaps, belong, the performance would surely provide a morale boost ahead of their trip to Watford.

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