Antonio Conte: Light Now Focused On Premier League Leaders Chelsea
Jan 01 2017
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes believes that the Premier League title race will be decided between Chelsea and Liverpool, and says the Blues need to keep Diego Costa fit if they want to claim the trophy. "After two times the other team drew [level], the will to find another win, I'm pleased for them and they deserve this".
Chelsea matched their London rivals' benchmark - set in the 2001-02 season - with their 13th consecutive win, defeating Stoke City 4-2 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. "Now it's not easy after 13 wins in a row, you face teams that want to beat you, not only to take three points but for many reasons".
The second assist, for Willian's second goal of the game and what turned out to be the winning goal in the end, was Fàbregas's 100th in the Premier League (29th for Chelsea, to go with the 71 during his years at Arsenal).
"We started this season as underdog and now, after a great first part of the season, the light is on Chelsea", he said.
Conte was seen high-fiving the supporters in celebration during the game and conceded: "During the game it's very hard for me to keep my emotions [in check]". "Liverpool are high-intensity pressure from the off, high up the pitch". We tried to force the issue, but we made too many mistakes unfortunately. He's a fantastic player but more importantly he's a fantastic man. Two very different styles, but both very effective at the moment. Costa's performance today showed the value he gives to Chelsea.
"We got into a good position", Hughes said. That shouldn't happen. Against good opposition, we're getting punished for every mistake we're making, but we'll take the positives.
"You go up a level when you play the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool so they will test you more than most but we've got games coming up that we feel will enable us to steady ourselves and allow our good play - and there has been good elements in a lot of the games we have been involved in - to come to the fore and enable us to win games". We can't keep defending as we are in key moments.