Chelsea face reality check as title hopes fade

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte hailed the contribution of Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian as the trio combined in devastating fashion to brush aside Huddersfield Town 3-1 in the Premier League.

David Wagner has revealed that he has no fresh injury concerns after the weekend win, while the home manager is boosted by the return of Rajiv van La Parra after a three-game suspension.

"Chelsea only dropped 21 points in their title season last term but have already dropped 16 after their loss at West Ham on Saturday".

Goals from Busquets and Iniesta, and a red card for skipper Terry, meant the Blues were two goals and one man down just before half-time, but an exquisite chip from Brazilian midfielder Ramires gave Chelsea an away-goals advantage at the break.

After Chelsea failed to secure top spot in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage, they had to settle for second place behind Roma.

"Now we must be focused in the league to go game by game, to do our best".

"We know it's hard [to win the title], but we have to fight until the end".

"I think [Bakayoko] played a very good game".

"We will need to show our character, our tactical skills and our talent".

Chelsea were paired with Barcelona in Monday's draw, with the first fixture to take place at Stamford Bridge on February 20.

"The first thing for us is to change the final result. I believe we can compete with Real Madrid", Emery told UEFA's official website.

Luis Suarez and Sandro Ramirez then scored within 14 second-half minutes to turn the game on its head, but Gary Cahill took the game to a penalty shoot-out with an 85th-minute equaliser.

The Blues have played seven times since November 18 due to the busy Premier League schedule and their commitments in the UEFA Champions League.

Chelsea are aiming to try and claw their way back into the title race but they now find themselves 14 points behind leaders Manchester City after 16 games of the new campaign.

  • Steve Townsend