Antonio Conte believes that Chelsea’s loss to Arsenal earlier in the campaign was a pivotal point in their season.

  • Chelsea could be crowned Champions for fifth time in 13 years with win at Hawthorns on Friday night
  • Since losing to Arsenal, Chelsea have only lost three Premier League games
  • Conte believes Arsenal loss made Chelsea realise they had to change

On 24 September, Arsenal thrashed Chelsea 3-0 at the Emirates.

Goals from Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil blew the Blues away before the half-time whistle.

Gooners were jubilant, daring the believe that this could indeed be ‘their year’, while Chelsea fans were despondent, unused to losing so heavily to their London rivals.

Fast forward to May and Chelsea have (almost) won the title for the fifth time in 13 years. A record only matched by Manchester United.

Meanwhile, the Gunners are going to struggle to finish in the top four.

Just to rub salt in the wound, Chelsea’s manager credits Arsenal for turning their season around.

“It’s impossible to win without suffering. When you work very hard, it’s normal to suffer. I’ve never seen a player who, during hard work, doesn’t suffer,” Conte said.

“I think that when you suffer, you become stronger and then you are ready to face every situation — above all, problematic situations during games.

“We started this season with three wins, but honestly… I wasn’t calm. I didn’t see what I was wanting to see.

“But after a bad defeat against Arsenal… after that defeat I understood we had to change something in the tactical aspect and find the right solution, also to improve our work, our tactical work.

“Then I saw my team improving game by game and increasing confidence, increasing confidence in the work. In what we were doing. If you ask me a proper moment (when I knew we’d win the title), I don’t see one. I don’t see a moment.”

If only Arsenal were as good at turning their own season around as they are at rejuvenating other teams’.