Chelsea Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte congratulates his players after Chelse put on another impressive show in the Premier League, October 30, 2016Reuters

The Premier League title credentials are getting better and better with every passing game. The mauling of Manchester United last weekend was followed by an equally-good performance at St. Mary's against Southampton as Antonio Conte's Chelsea continued to impress, both in front of goal and in defence.

That scathing defeat to Arsenal seems to have been a turning point for the Blues, because since that match, Conte's side have looked a completely different beast – much meaner, much leaner and a lot finer.

Facing a Southampton side which hadn't lost at home since February and were in imperious form in the league themselves, Chelsea turned on the style just when they had to while standing impenetrable at the back to complete a 2-0 win.

Eden Hazard scored the opening goal in just the sixth minute of the game, before Diego Costa added the gloss with a superlative finish ten minutes into the second half.

"I saw a lot of positive things, above all because we played against a strong team also in a good moment of form," Conte said. "To come here and win wasn't easy, I said that on Friday. I'm pleased with the commitment and work-rate. The players worked very hard during the game with and without the ball. This is the right way to reach great satisfaction in this championship.

"We created many chances, and also for four games we have kept clean sheets. It means our confidence is increasing. The players deserve this. I see them every day, the way they are working. It's important to arrive at this type of result because they can trust the work more, but we know the road is long and it's important to continue to work very hard to improve.

"It wasn't an easy game, but to stay close to first place is good. It gives us great confidence."

That first place is currently occupied by Manchester City, who lead Arsenal and Liverpool on goal difference. Chelsea are just a point behind those three on 22 points, two ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham.

Naturally, after four impressive wins in the Premier League, talk about the title will come up. But, Conte, also expectedly, was reluctant to add his team to the "they are definitely one of the teams who could win the title" conversation.

"The only way we must continue is to work and don't look at the table," Conte added. "Now it's very difficult to talk about a prediction. Many games must pass, above all the first part of the season, then you can see if you can stay up and fight for the title."

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