Plenty of points to play for

Chelsea’s victory over Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday was the Blues’ twelfth league win of the season and our eighth in the past 10 games. Currently sitting third in the Premier League table, there is a four-point gap between us and Liverpool in fourth, whilst we are still nipping at the heels of Manchester United who are placed in second.

Antonio Conte said in his post-match interview that he would welcome a similar run of results in the next 10 games and, looking at our upcoming fixtures, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to achieve this, especially as there is now a short break in the Champions League.

Our game against the Saints, on a drizzly afternoon in West London, followed our comfortable away victory at Huddersfield in midweek. In front of the spatter of blue Santa hats in the East Lower, there was also a pre-match presentation for Stamford Bridge on-pitch announcer, Neil Barnett, to celebrate his 25 years at Chelsea.

The Blues were in control for the majority of the game, but this wasn’t reflected by the modest 1-0 scoreline. Had it not been for some impressive saves from the Southampton keeper, we could have won by a bigger margin.

Hazard did find the back of the net but the goal was ruled out for offside, Pedro hit the post and Fabregas saw an attempt narrowly trickle along the goal line. Goal scorer, and man of the match, Marcos Alonso had the most shots at goal of anyone on the pitch and was constantly putting himself in great positions as we pushed forward. The left wing back has now had a part to play in 14 goals for Chelsea – with 10 goals and four assists – the most of any Premier League defender. It is a shame that his yellow card against the Saints means he cannot play in our game against Everton this weekend, however.

There were also great performances again for Willian, Hazard and Pedro, who together link up so well as a front three, and can cause problems for the majority of defences they come up against. It really is a pleasure to watch players of their calibre week in, week out.

A 1-0 lead is always a nervy position to be in, no matter how much control you have of the game. One slight mistake, or moment of brilliance from the opposition, can lead to an equaliser. Not for the want of trying, we had to settle for just the one goal but, fortunately, it was enough to get us all three points.

It’s hard to ignore the superb run that Manchester City have had so far, but the season isn’t over until May. We need to concentrate on ourselves and take each game as it comes – just as the boss highlighted post-match. We’re coming up to the halfway mark of the 2017-2018 season but there is still a long way to go - and a lot points to play for. Come on Chelsea!