Chelsea coach Michael Emenalo claims the team’s recent upturn in form is down to a tactical rethink from manager Carlo Ancelotti.
The Blues have won their last three league games, and are unbeaten in seven in all competitions, and Emenalo sights a back-to-basics approach from the Italian.
Manchester United remain nine points in front of the defending champions, although Ancelotti’s men do have a game in hand on United.
“Carlo looked over the situation with the players we have and at what was lacking, and in his past when he has been in these situations, he decided the best way to attack this situation was to get a very good defensive base from which to work,” Emenalo told chelseafc.com.
“As a result we’ve gone to 4-4-2 which gives a balanced defensive core, but we have quality players who can do different things and we are able to manipulate it a little bit, with Ramires on the right and Florent Malouda or Yury Zhirkov on the left, so we can create width on one side and a certain level of compactness from the right, meaning we don’t get overrun even if we send people forward and it can become a central three in midfield when we are defending.
“It means we can stay strong in transition because a lot of times when people play 4-4-2 they use two wide players who go forward and they have problems in transition, or play 4-4-1-1, limiting the players they have going forward and often becoming a 4-5-1.
“On our left side we also have a very attacking full-back in Ashley Cole, and it helps that when David Luiz plays he gets involved and becomes a playmaker.
“The experience of the manager has helped tremendously because we’ve been able to come through and look strong again.”