Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has opined that the club’s prolonged winning momentum is demoralising their title rivals as they enter the busy festive period.
Chelsea just can’t stop winning at the moment. The disastrous 3-0 defeat at the hands of London rivals Arsenal had completely sapped Antonio Conte’s side of their confidence. That result had left Chelsea in eighth place, eight points behind Manchester City. Ever since then though, the Blues have turned the Premier League table on its head, not losing a single game and conceding just twice in more than two months of league football action.
Impressive victories over champions Leicester City, as well as fellow English giants Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City followed the loss at the Emirates Stadium. The defeat of Sunderland on Wednesday made it ten wins on the bounce, and meant that Chelsea have now created a six point lead on top of the Premier League table, leaving Liverpool, Arsenal and City in their wake.
Now, Thibaut Courtois has pointed out how the winning streak is dealing a huge psychological blow to Chelsea’s title rivals, leaving their dressing rooms dismayed.
Speaking to London Evening Standard, the Belgium international said: “It’s good that our title rivals would have come back into the dressing room last night having won. Liverpool for example, and will have been thinking, ‘damn, Chelsea won as well’. That’s a good thing for us.”
He went on to urge his side to keep their standards high and continue their winning run when they face Crystal Palace on Saturday. He added: “On Saturday we are the first team to play [at Crystal Palace], so we have to show that we can get three points and then the others are under pressure to win as well. When you’re on a run like this it gets easier. Last year, we had a negative run and it’s really hard to get out of that. This year, it’s the other way around.”
Chelsea have looked largely imperious in their impressive winning run since the start of October, and have also shown the propensity to graft their wins out, as was shown against the likes of West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough.
Their rivals, however, have shown a lack of the killer instinct, and have been highly inconsistent over this period. This has seen them lose the initiative after each of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City topped the table ahead of Chelsea in this period. As they travel to Selhurst Park on Saturday in Matchday 17’s first kickoff, Courtois and co. will be keen to extend their winning streak and heap the pressure on their rivals.