FIT­TING FINALE

Tot­ten­ham’s spirit will see bat­tle for ti­tle con­tinue to the end, says Matic

New Straits Times - - Sport - NEMANJA MATIC

LON­DON

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.

“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.

“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 strike more than once — be­cause he had no choice. “I’ve watched it 10 times,” he said, “and my son 100 times, so 110.” Daily Mail

We win, Tot­ten­ham win. We try to win again and they win again. It’s close. We’ll see if they can drop some points.

Nemanja Matic cel­e­brates scor­ing the stun­ner against Tot­ten­ham in the FA Cup semi-fi­nal at Wem­b­ley on April 22.

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