Antonio Conte admits he would have been mad to anticipate Chelsea's current lead in the Premier League, after beating Arsenal to go 12 points clear.
The Blues cruised to a 3-1 win over the Gunners at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, having stormed to the top of the standings following a tactical switch-up in the wake of their heavy defeat to Arsenal back in September.
"I must be crazy to think this would be the situation now," he said. "Our start wasn't good for many reasons. Only through work and great ability of the players has shown you can change the situation."
'Antonio, Antonio.' ? pic.twitter.com/Yxc5GxSr0R
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"To put them 12 points behind is very important for us. In four days we have had two games against two great teams (including Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Liverpool).
"I think we are showing we deserve to stay on top of the table. I am very pleased for my players. In every session they show me great attitude and great will to fight and win this league."
Blues defender Gary Cahill compared their for at the Bridge to their 3-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium earlier in the campaign, which proved to be a turning point for them.
"I remember the feeling after we got off the field at Arsenal and we were determined to put things right," Cahill said. "We did just that.
"We're confident playing at home. We knew a win would be vitally important for us against a massive team."