Diego Costa Antonio Conte Chelsea
Diego Costa, the match-winner, and Chelsea manager Antonio Conte celebrate their win over Middlesbrough, November 20, 2016Reuters

No matches in Europe, an extremely talented manager, a mean defence and an attack capable of unlocking any team – Chelsea are looking more and more like the favourites for the title with every passing game in the Premier League. The Blues made it six wins out of six with a 1-0 result over Middlesbrough to move to the top of the table on Sunday.

Chelsea are deserved leaders too, considering they did not concede a single goal in any of those six wins. With that three-man defence of their working wonders and Antonio Conte's style coursing through every single one of the Chelsea players, the Blues are looking even better than the Liverpool side, who have been tipped to clinch the title, owing to their own lack of European matches and an enigmatic, thoroughbred manager.

In the Premier League game at the Riverside on Sunday, all Chelsea needed was a goal from Diego Costa just before halftime to go one point clear of the rest.

"I'm pleased because we won a game in a different way if you compare it to our past five games," Conte said. "We won only 1-0 against a strong team with good organisation. At the moment we had to suffer, we suffered, but we never lost our compactness. It's very good.

"We created chances to score the second goal, and it's important to score the second goal and kill the game, because anything can happen until the end in this league, and above all (in this win). When you are winning only 1-0 you have to pay attention until the end, because Middlesbrough could have got a draw, like (they managed) against City.

"Middlesbrough played a good game with good organisation. They put their best on the pitch, but in this period it's very difficult to play against Chelsea."

Looking to stop the Chelsea juggernaut next will be the only unbeaten side in the Premier League so far – Tottenham. Spurs have their own wonderfully-talented manager in Mauricio Pochettino and if anyone can mastermind a way through the Chelsea defence at the moment it is the Argentinian.

"This game gives us confidence and increases our trust in what we are doing," Conte added.

"Now it's important to think about the next game against Tottenham, a tough game, a massive game. Middlesbrough is now the past for us."

Not yet for the fans, though. They will be celebrating topping the table after such a difficult season last year.

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