Eleven wins in a row - Chelsea are the Christmas No.1 and look simply unstoppable

The Blues are nine points clear at the top of the Premier League table after a stunning winning run, sending out a huge warning to their title rivals


Diego Costa's 44th-minute goal ensured that Chelsea would remain in control as Antonio Conte's side sent out an early message ahead of matchday 17 in the Premier League. 

Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City are gazing up at the Blues as the standard setters in the league with Costa setting the benchmark for his team with another outstanding display at Selhurst Park. 

Costa can win games in an instant, peeling away to the far post after Cesar Azpilicueta got his head up and picked out a perfectly lofted ball for him to nod home past Wayne Hennessey - notching his 50th goal for the club and he will undoubtedly be the leading scorer come Christmas. 

Classy Chelsea equal club record

He will miss Chelsea's Boxing Day game after getting booked for dissent, but Conte has found a way to rotate Hazard out of the team and seems to be able to handle any challenge that is thrown at his side. 

Conte has masterminded Chelsea's joint-best winning run and has been in charge for less than six months, transforming a club that was in disarray last season and who sacked Jose Mourinho just before Christmas. 

All Chelsea's players deserved from Santa Claus last season was a lump of coal, but with the players' Christmas party on the horizon, they deserve and can afford to treat themselves after completely changing the mood around Stamford Bridge. 

Costa scores 50th goal for Chelsea against Palace

Conte is Chelsea's Santa figure, bringing fans more than they ever wished for having turned around a club without particularly changing the personnel. He has used his tactical nouse and work on the training field to set himself apart against some of the best managers in the world. 

Beyond the Premier League table, Chelsea are playing great football with Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas seemingly able to pick out any ball. N'Golo Kante working as the engine in the west Londoners' machine and Costa as the firepower. 

Victor Moses has been given his first ever chance at Chelsea, despite joining the club four years ago, while Gary Cahill and David Luiz - who were being targeted for criticism - are rock solid alongside the dependable, Cesar Azpilicueta. 

Costa and Kante to miss Chelsea clash

Chelsea have a goalkeeper in Thibaut Courtois who went backwards last season, but now looks world-class. All the players are loving their football and the dressing room feels strong again after being divided last season. 

Conte can play good cop or bad cop and knows how to manage world-class footballers, having been one himself and fans of rival teams may have to pool their Christmas wishes together to ensure Chelsea start dropping points. 

His achievement at Stamford Bridge shouldn't be underestimated as he becomes the first Premier League manager to win 14 of his opening 17 games in the competition.

Crystal Palace versus Chelsea wasn't a Christmas cracker, but Conte got his Christmas wish.