Chelsea coach Antonio Conte said that his team’s surprise home defeat to Crystal Palace was a clear indicator that the Premier League title race is interesting again and far from over.
Chelsea held a commanding 10-point advantage on top of the Premier League against title rivals Tottenham Hotspurs before their 2-1 defeat by Palace at Stamford Bridge.
The leaders were also on a club-record 13-match winning streak at home, but it all ended thanks to a team fighting against relegation for months, with Spur’s victory at Burnley trimming Chelsea’s advantage at the top to seven points.
“For (the media) it’s a good result, because it makes this more interesting in the championship,” Conte said.
“But I always said the league finishes when you have the mathematical certainty that you won. Otherwise you must play every game to try to win because, I repeat, in England easy games do not exist. In every game here, anything can happen because the league is so strong.”
“We faced a team with strong players, very good players, and they showed they are a good team.
“But we have to think about the next game. If we had won we would have been happy, but now we must focus on Manchester City. We all know the strength of their team.”
“So we must recover and rest, and remember that in England there are no easy games. You could see that today against Crystal Palace. Every game will be very tough from now until the end. Also, if the team is Manchester City or a side fighting in the relegation zone.”
Chelsea hosts Manchester City on Wednesday with Conte now needing an immediate response from his players. Their lead on top of the table, while still imposing, could be further reduced if Tottenham wins at Swansea on the same day.