Mourinho plays down Chelsea chances despite Hazard brilliance

Jose Mourinho continues to play down Chelsea’s chances of winning the Premier League title, despite heading the current table.

With Arsenal falling to a calamitous 5-1 defeat at Liverpool at midday on Saturday, the Blues knew a win against Newcastle United at home could lift them to the top of the standings. An Eden Hazard hat-trick saw off the Magpies on a fairly comfortable afternoon, and as Manchester City surprisingly dropped two points at Norwich City, Mourinho’s side now have a single point lead over the Gunners at the summit.

This win over Newcastle came days after the 1-0 win against City at the Etihad Stadium, after which many pundits expressed their opinion that Chelsea are now the title favourites. In typical fashion, Mourinho refused to subscribe to this theory, memorably calling his side a ‘little horse’ compared to Manuel Pellegrini’s squad. And this is a stance the Portuguese coach is sticking to, despite the favourable results over the weekend.

“I want to stop with that story of the horses, but I don’t change my idea,” he said on Sky Sports. “Manchester City is a Jaguar. You cannot put an L-plate behind a Jaguar. We are what we are and we know where we want to go and this season, we have only one objective, which is to finish top four. I say as I feel it. I don’t feel the change. We are playing well and have been for a long time. People individually are in a good moment and we are getting results. We are top of the league and that’s something we can’t hide.”

Hazard, meanwhile, took his tally to the season to 12 goals in 25 Premier League appearances, during which he has also assisted in seven more. The Belgian is fast earning a reputation as one of the best talents in European football, and at the age of just 23, he is sure to get better. And whilst Mourinho is eager to play down talk of a first league title since 2010, his star playmaker has made no secret of his ambitions for the season.

“Top of the league,” said the former Lille ace. “I go in my bed, I dream. I hope at the end of the season it will be the same. It’s a pleasure to play for this team and to work for that.”


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