Former Chelsea left-back Graeme Le Saux has dismissed Jose Mourinho's assessment of the Blues as being a defensive team, labelling the Manchester United 'rude' after the Portuguese took a swipe at Antonio Conte's tactics.
Conte has utilised a 3-4-3 formation in the majority of his games as Chelsea boss, with his decision to sacrifice a defender from an orthodox four-man back line paying dividends as the Stamford Bridge side continue to rack up the goals due to their additional attacking options.
Mourinho, however, had claimed that it has become “trendy to play with five defenders”, casually lumping the Italian's wing-backs – lauded for their consistent ability to create width higher up the pitch – in with the three standard centre-backs.
But ex-Blue Le Saux does not buy in to the Man Utd boss' claims, instead pointing to figures that back up his own assertion that Conte's charges are far from a side who sit deep.
“Mourinho was a little rude about Chelsea after last weekend's matches, criticising Conte for defensive football,” he told Starsport.
“But that's typical Mourinho, up to his usual mischief! Chelsea are not a negative side – the goals for column tells you that!
“Whether you think Chelsea play a back three of give is irrelevant really. They're a five when they need to be and a three when they need to be – and we've seen how destructive Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses can be when they go forward.
“What I like about Chelsea is that even when they are under pressure they always offer a threat on the counter. They're great athletes and can get from back to front in no time at all.”
First-choice wing-backs Moses and Alonso racked up nine goals and five assists between them in the Premier League last season, while Alonso has already scored twice this term in the English top flight.