Chelsea top the Premier League standings on Christmas Day, but Jose Mourinho doesn’t think this means they are guaranteed to win the title.
The Blues continued their fine form on Monday night with a businesslike 2-0 win against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium, delivered courtesy of goals from John Terry and Cesc Fabregas. This result keeps them three points ahead of reigning champions Manchester City at the top of the table, a position they have held on to when occupying at Christmas on three previous occasions.
Having tasted defeat just once all season in all competitions – at Newcastle United earlier this month – it is no surprise that Mourinho’s side are red-hot favourites to win a first league title since 2010 this term. However, that they top the standings at the festive period means little to the Portuguese coach, despite history dictating they will retain this position when the honours are handed out.
“What we did in the past isn’t important,” he told Sky Sports following his side’s latest win. “This season, we have been top of the league since day one. We have been the best team, that’s why we are top of the league. Our Christmas fixtures are more difficult than any other one. Three away matches at Stoke, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur, and one at home to West Ham United.”
The Hammers are next up for the leaders, when Sam Allardyce’s much improved fourth-placed side arrive at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day. Then there is the tricky away double-header to negotiate, firstly at Southampton on 28 December and then when they travel to White Hart Lane to face Spurs on New Year’s Day. And whilst difficult, Mourinho will no doubt expect a maximum-point return.
Can you see Chelsea relinquishing their hold at the top of the league table? Let us know what you think by joining the discussion below.