FAIR play to Antonio Conte for taking ‘responsibility’ for Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford – but it’s the players who need to shoulder most of the blame for a rare, lame performance.
A few chinks in the armour, perhaps? This certainly wasn’t the Chelsea we have been used to seeing of late so maybe they are feeling the pressure of Tottenham breathing down their necks.
The gap is down to four points and the two-horse race is on – with Spurs in the ascendancy after seven successive wins, whilst Chelsea have lost two in four.
The Blues are still favourites for the title, of course, but stranger things have happened on the run-in. The time when mental strength becomes more important than physical ability.
We know that Spurs blew it last season but they will have learned from the experience. Certainly Mauricio Pochettino.
But he HAS to keep his young players’ feet firmly on the ground. Not get carried away with lots of comments about this being the best Tottenham side for decades.
Personally, I think it is. And I love watching them. The speed, the power, the purpose and technique. It’s all there.
As it is with Chelsea. They just had a bad day at the Old Trafford office once dominated by the master, now occupied by the apprentice.
United’s time will come, but it won’t be this season. However, there are signs of progress – what else would you expect under the Special One?
You could tell by his demeanour what this meant to Mourinho, but Conte and Co are still in the driving seat. Despite this setback.
The Chelsea boss wasn’t happy though and as quoted on the BBC Sport website – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39617089 – he conceded: “We didn’t play a good game and United deserved to win the game.
“They showed more desire, more ambition, more motivation. In this case the fault is of the coach. I have concern because we have to work together and find quickly the right ambition to win this title,
“If someone thinks it’s normal for Chelsea to win the title, we started as underdogs after 10th place last season.
“Tottenham is in good form and playing with enthusiasm. We must find the same.”