Roberto Di Matteo watched the Premier League leaders make a statement of intent with a 2-1 victory at Arsenal and suggested more is to come from his emerging Chelsea team.
"I am really pleased with the way we played, away at the Emirates, with the performance and the consequences," the Chelsea manager said. "That gives the team a lot of confidence and belief that now we can play differently. We have to. We need to change our style a little bit from last season. We still have a lot of work to do to improve as we have not been together for much time."
In a match in which they expected a stern test, Chelsea dictated the tempo, their new style clicking encouragingly as they went three points clear thanks to Manchester United's defeat at home to Spurs. Juan Mata was at the heart of both goals with his set-piece delivery and, with his mobile cohorts Oscar and Eden Hazard moving intelligently behind Fernando Torres, helped show how effectively the new Chelsea can blend old-school power with fresh flair.
John Terry, whose first touch was jeered by Arsenal fans, had a routine afternoon at the end of a complex week. "It was the right choice to play him," Di Matteo said. "He showed his leadership qualities and what a good defender he is for the team."
The Chelsea manager also had praise for Torres, who opened the scoring. "He was excellent, scored a great goal, an important goal, but also his all round game was excellent."
Arsène Wenger criticised his team for blowing the chance to stake their own credentials. "When you play at home and concede two soft set pieces you are on the back foot. What is important is the personality you show in a big game. Today we were not at the level."
Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny endured a difficult afternoon and was implicated in both goals conceded. Wenger defended his decision to select the Frenchman ahead of Per Mertesacker, arguably Arsenal's most consistent defender this season. "The decision was based on who we played," Wenger said. "If I left out Vermaelen or Koscielny I would have been asked the same thing."