Nemanja Matic believes the race for the Premier League title could go down to the wire, and the Chelsea midfielder hailed rival Tottenham’s spirit, joking: ‘we win, they win!’
Matic revealed that there were no celebrations in the away dressing room following Sunday’s 3-0 victory at Goodison Park which temporarily stretched his side’s lead over their London rivals to seven points.
By the time the Serbian and his teammates stepped off the plane following their flight back to the capital, the gap was back down to four following Spurs’ 2-0 stroll over neighbours Arsenal.
Nemanja Matic believes the race for the Premier League title could go down to the wire
Matic said there were no celebrations in the dressing room after Chelsea’s 3-0 win at Everton
Although Chelsea boss Antonio Conte celebrated on the pitch, Matic said it was different later
‘We win, Tottenham win,’ he said. ‘We try to win again and they win again. It’s close. We’ll see if they can drop some points. If we lost, they would be one point behind – that’s pressure.’
With their impressive victory on Merseyside, Chelsea appear to have navigated the tallest hurdle between themselves and the finishing line.
They will now face Middlesbrough, West Bromwich Albion, Watford and Sunderland while Tottenham go up against West Ham United, Manchester United, Leicester City and Hull City.
‘They also have some difficult games at home and away,’ Matic added. ‘Everything is open until the end. We still have hard games – we have to beat Middlesbrough.’
The west London club’s win at Everton, who had won eight home matches on the bounce, sparked passionate celebrations from manager Antonio Conte, but Matic says it was a different story in the dressing room.
After his FA Cup semi thunderbolt, Matic said he can hear fans urging him to try his luck again
‘No celebrations,’ he revealed. ‘We still have to play. It’s four games. Especially in the Premier League you can’t be sure you are going to win. Every game is hard. We were satisfied because it was hard to win on that pitch.’
Matic struck a long-range thunderbolt in the 4-2 FA Cup semi-final victory over Spurs last month and admitted he can hear Chelsea fans now urging him to try his luck when he picks up the ball.
‘I got the ball on halfway and they were saying ‘shoot’!’ he said. ‘I score the goal and now everyone expects I can shoot from anywhere.’
The 28–year-old added that he had seen repeats of that striker more than once – because he had no choice. ‘I’ve watched it ten times,’ he said, ‘and my son 100 times, so 110.’