News Live Scores
Chelsea

Alonso sets Chelsea ambitious target in fading Premier League title defence

14:25 GMT+3 18/12/2017
Marcos Alonso Chelsea
The Spaniard concedes that if the Blues are to successfully defend their English top-flight crown, then they cannot afford to drop another point

Marcos Alonso concedes that Chelsea will have to “win every game” to stand any chance of defending their Premier League title.

The Blues swept to the English top-flight crown last season, with domestic dominance secured in some style.

Antonio Conte’s side have, however, endured a faltering defence of that prize to sit 14 points adrift of runaway leaders Manchester City.

Chelsea’s Italian coach has already thrown in the towel, claiming that any title talk at Stamford Bridge is “bull****”, and Alonso admits that only a faultless run through 20 fixtures would put the Blues back in the picture.

The Spaniard told the club’s official website after netting the only goal of the game in a narrow victory over Southampton: "We have to do what is in our hands and win our games.

"It was very disappointing the defeat against West Ham but the response this week was good and this is the way to follow in our next few games.

"Big teams have to do this and we did it this week. It is still a long way to go and we have to win every game now."

Having suffered a 1-0 defeat at derby rivals West Ham, Chelsea have hit back with victories over Huddersfield and Southampton.

They are, however, still perched in third spot in the Premier League table, with Liverpool and Arsenal within striking distance just below them.

A top-four finish may be the best that they can hope for, with Alonso’s timely effort against the Saints – which came in the third minute of first-half stoppage-time – helping to keep them on course to hit that target.

He added on his stunning free-kick: "It was a very good minute to score and I am happy to help the team get the three points.

“I had another couple of chances and I was a bit unlucky. The ball came to my right foot which is not my stronger one."

Chelsea are back in action on Wednesday when they take on Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals, before breaking for Christmas on the back of a Premier League away date at Everton.