Chelsea lost the derby against Manchester United with a clear 2-0. The Premier League leaders did not manage to have any shot on goal. Manager Antonio Conte now believes there is 50% of his team winning the title.
Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera were responsible for the two goals that brought United the victory. The loss will hurt Chelsea. A few weeks ago there were few who would have bet against them to win the Premier league title. Things are not as clear now. Second place Tottenham are looming only four points behind. More importantly, Pochettino’s side is in fine form, while Chelsea is losing points. And not only in derbies.
Chelsea has lost two of their last four games. The Blues also lost this month to Crystal Palace at home. While not long ago the side enjoyed a comfortable 10 point lead, Tottenham have managed to shave off some of that difference. Chelsea’s one spot of luck is that their remaining games look easier than those of Spurs. Or at least they do on paper. Pochettino’s team are still to play against Manchester United and Arsenal, as well as games at home against Crystal Palace and West Ham.
Conte talked about his side’s chances to the press. The manager even branded a title win as a “miracle”. “We lost two games. The two games were totally different – we didn’t deserve to lose against Palace – but today [Sunday] we deserved to lose,” Conte told reporters after the game.
“There are six finals until now and the end. The league is open. We have a 50 per cent probability of winning the league. The pressure is normal – I prefer to have the pressure rather than not fight for the title and to joke in every moment. We are lucky to have the pressure. Last season Chelsea had no pressure as they were 10th place. “
Chelsea and Tottenham will play each other next week. However it will not be in the Premier League, but rather in next the FA Cup semi-final. Conte says Chelsea needs to rise to the challenge and referred to Tottenham as “the better team” at the moment.
“We all know you either go to the final or you don’t and so we must put 200 per cent to reach the final,” Conte added. It won’t be easy because Tottenham now are the best team. They are in great form and they have a lot of enthusiasm because they are feeling the possibility of writing history.
“This is a game between two teams that are in contention to win the league this season. It will be an interesting game. We have five days to prepare for this game and then play to win.”
Chelsea defender Gary Cahill admitted the result and manner of play against United were disappointing. Cahill called for his colleagues to show more focus in these last game of the season.
“We were not at the races against United and it makes us a bit angry,” Cahill commented. “Let’s hope it is an off day and it does not cost us too much. We have to react in the right way. We have to dust ourselves off and prepare for a huge semi-final, and then we go again with some important home games coming up.”
“There are only six games left and we are still in a good position. We need to realise it is not over, we need to realise there are points to play for, and we have to dig in. No one is going to give us this league, we have to work for it like we have done for the majority of this season. We reacted after the loss against [Crystal] Palace, we bounced back with two wins so it is a similar thing. We have to go again. We are still in a great position.”