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It’s not over yet! Why the Premier League title race is still well and truly on

first_img1 Chelsea continued their unbeaten start to the new season with an impressive 2-0 victory over Arsenal, a victory that has led many to proclaim them as Premier League champions after just seven games.There can be little doubting that the Blues have set the bar for the campaign, but is it too early to be naming Jose Mourinho’s men as champions-elect?Below are a handful of examples of strong Chelsea starts over the past decade and what eventually happened.2012/13 – Finished thirdHow did their start compare to this year? After seven matches of the 2012/13 season, Chelsea had won six and drawn one – exactly the same record as this seasonIntriguingly, as it mirrors the Blues’ current record, Chelsea’s start two years ago is an example of how quickly things can change. Under Roberto Di Matteo, European champions Chelsea got off to a fantastic start and were top by four points after seven matches, but a loss at home to eventual champions Man United two weeks later kick-started a lean period where Chelsea went seven matches without a win (lost three and drew four). Di Matteo – despite leading the club to their first ever Champions League trophy and the FA Cup a matter of months earlier – lost his job. The Blues would seem far better placed to push on for glory in 2014/15, but the lesson learned from 2012 is not to count any chickens.2010/11 – Finished secondHow did their start compare to this year? After seven matches in 2010, Chelsea had won six and lost oneChelsea kicked off the 2010/11 season in the same vein that they ended their double-winning campaign of the previous year: with victory after victory, laden with goals. The Blues stormed to the top of the table with two 6-0 wins in their opening two matches, and only conceded once in their opening five. The only blemish was a surprise 1-0 defeat away to Man City at the end of September, but barring that, this was a Chelsea side that looked as though it would storm to another title. However, two defeats in the space of seven days at the beginning of November saw Carlo Ancelotti’s men lose four of their next eight, enduring a winless run that stretched until the end of December.Then again…2005/06 – ChampionsHow did their start compare to this year? After seven matches in ’05/06 Chelsea had won seven out of sevenChelsea have been strong starters before under Mourinho, who placed importance on laying down a marker early on during his first spell as boss. That said, there has so far been only one instance when the Blues have dominated the league from start to finish. That was their vintage side of 2005/06, a side that boasted a six-point lead over then-second placed Charlton after just seven games, as they won each of the opening matches, scoring 14 goals and conceding just once. Their unbeaten run was extended to 11 matches, before Man United defeated them at Old Trafford, but they never looked troubled in the title ‘race’.2009/10 – ChampionsHow did their start compare to this year? After seven matches in 2009 Chelsea had won six and lost oneChelsea’s title-winning side of 2009/10 eventually smashed the record for the most goals scored in a Premier League season, but few would have questioned whether they could win the title that season, as Carlo Ancelotti’s side sat second after an opening seven matches that saw them win six and lose once – a shock 3-1 reversal away to Wigan. That was added to just two matches later as Aston Villa beat Chelsea to dent their early season form. However, a strong run of form saw Ancelotti’s men pip Man United to the title.Chelsea fans, is it too early to think of title chances? Comment below… Chelsea are unbeaten this season last_img read more