EPL

Alonso: Too early to rule Chelsea out of title race

By Sports Desk December 06, 2018

Marcos Alonso is refusing to rule Chelsea out of the Premier League title race despite Manchester City's already healthy advantage over Maurizio Sarri's side.

The defending champions' 2-1 victory at Watford on Tuesday combined with the Blues' shock reverse by the same scoreline at Wolves 24 hours later means City head to Stamford Bridge this weekend with a 10-point cushion over their opponents.

Sarri has repeatedly insisted he is not considering his team as genuine challengers to City's crown, but left-back Alonso believes it is too soon to write off their chances.

"It's too early to talk about it, obviously. If we lose [on Saturday] we are going to be 13 points from the top and that's a lot of points but we have to think, prepare for the game well, and not pay attention to the table at the moment," he said.

"It is the perfect opportunity to come back. It will be a great game for sure, everyone will be very motivated to play.

"We are very disappointed after the defeat but it is back to work and we will work harder and start playing better as a team."

Chelsea have won only one of their previous four league outings and Alonso says it is time to rediscover the philosophy that saw them go 12 unbeaten at the start of Sarri's reign.

He added: "We have to play more as a team. It's something we have to analyse, we will try our best to improve as soon as possible.

"We're not doing very well at the moment. More individually [than] as a team, we have to get better as a collective.

"We had the chances to win, we were controlling the game and started the second half having a couple of chances.

"The last few games we were not loyal to our style of play and, even if we did not deserve it, we lose.

"We are going through a hard moment and you have to work very hard, stay together and get back to winning as soon as possible."

Related items

  • PSG star Neymar cried for two days after foot injury PSG star Neymar cried for two days after foot injury

    Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar revealed he "spent two days at home crying" after suffering another metatarsal injury.

    Neymar is recovering from a foot injury sustained in PSG's Coupe de France clash against Strasbourg last month, with the world's most expensive footballer facing another seven weeks on the sidelines.

    The former Barcelona forward suffered a similar injury last February which forced him to miss the remainder of the 2017-18 season.

    Discussing his latest setback, Neymar told Brazilian TV channel Globo: "This time I had a tough time getting over it.

    "I spent two days at home crying. It's more complicated. 

    "The first time I hurt myself I said, 'I'll have an operation, it has to be fixed as quickly as possible'. I wasn't sad."

    Before the injury, Neymar scored 13 goals in as many Ligue 1 appearances, while he netted five in the Champions League and a further two in domestic cup competitions.

  • Klopp: Liverpool's final pass not good enough Klopp: Liverpool's final pass not good enough

    Jurgen Klopp lamented Liverpool's final pass during a 0-0 draw with Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday.

    The Premier League outfit lacked a clinical edge in the attacking third as they were held by Bayern at Anfield in the last-16 first leg.

    Klopp rued his side's attacking display, saying their passing cost them chances, and exposed them defensively.

    "Our problem was, on one hand the quality of the opponent of course, but on the other hand our last pass was not our friend," he told a news conference.

    "We had 10 or 12 situations where everything was prepared, everything was on a plate, and then we played a very average last pass or gave it away.

    "That caused us two problems – one, we didn't create a chance, and on the other hand we gave them the ball and they had a counter-attack, which made the game even more intense.

    "But how it is in situations like that, I'm pretty sure at the moment Bayern feel a bit better than we do but we have three weeks, and day by day the result will feel a bit better for us and a bit worse for Bayern. It's 0-0, the best draw you can get.

    "It will be a tough one again to play at Bayern. If we win 1-0 tonight, what would have changed really? Then a 0-0 is enough as well, or we draw 1-1 – but that's now enough as well. So it's not perfect but good enough to work with."

    Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah both squandered opportunities for Liverpool, who were in action for the first time since February 9.

    But Klopp, whose team visit Manchester United on Sunday, refused to use the break as an excuse.

    "The 10-day break? What does the final pass have to do with that? You have to look at the game and think about the game, and not prepare a question because we had a 10-day break," he said.

    "I have no clue why we didn't play the last pass. The sharpness has nothing to do with the last pass, it's about being in the moment, doing the right steps. You saw the situations, it had nothing to do with 10 days' [break].

    "We cannot change it, we had the 10-day break and now we will not have any break anymore, now we play through – and if it was a problem then we will not have that problem anymore because now we play every three days."

  • Valverde not worried about Suarez drought Valverde not worried about Suarez drought

    Ernesto Valverde insists he is not worried about Luis Suarez's goal drought after he once again struggled in Barcelona's 0-0 Champions League draw at Lyon.

    Uruguay international Suarez was excellent in the first half of the season, but he has been rather less effective in front of goal since then, and that is reflected in Barca's form, having now drawn four of their last five games in all competitions.

    Suarez was lively in France against Lyon in the opening leg of their last-16 clash, sniffing out a few opportunities, but his finishing left a lot to be desired and he looked visibly frustrated on numerous occasions on Tuesday.

    It was the fifth game in a row Suarez has not scored in, while he passed 24 hours of playing time in the Champions League without an away goal in the 22nd minute.

    Barca head coach Valverde is not concerned, however.

    "I would worry if he did not generate scoring chances, which is what is asked of a striker," Valverde told reporters.

    "He always has chances and if not, he generates them and is a headache for the rival. And, in any case, he is linked well with the occasions we've created.

    "Football is a matter of success. If the opposition wastes occasions I get nervous; if we waste them, it only bothers me."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.