David Luiz has said Chelsea will need to be “awake all the time” in a Premier League title race he expects to remain close “to the end.”
A 2-0 victory over Southampton at St Mary’s on Sunday extended Chelsea’s winning Premier League run to four matches and kept them fourth in the table, a point behind Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool.
Manager Antonio Conte said Chelsea would not pay attention to their league position until after the busy Christmas schedule.
And Luiz told Chelsea’s official website: “It will be like this to the end. It’s just the beginning. We need to keep our feet on the floor and keep working hard with humility, just this.
“We know the Premier League is not easy. When you start the game nobody knows who will win, but we are trying our best every single match to improve our level.
“We train hard every day. Mr Conte works a lot with us and tries to give a lot of information to us to prepare the plan for the games in the best way. It’s important to continue this way.
“The Premier League is never easy. If you sleep here one minute you start to lose, and then you can lose one, two or three matches. You need to be awake all the time.”
Eden Hazard and Diego Costa continued their fine recent form with goals at St Mary’s as Chelsea defence registered a fourth consecutive Premier League clean sheet since Conte’s decision to switch to a 3-4-3 system.
“It’s everybody — it’s not just the three at the back that don’t concede goals, it’s the mentality of the team when you don’t have the ball,” Luiz added.
“The first defender is Diego [Costa], and after that everybody defends. It doesn’t matter who plays, they are doing great on the defensive side and it’s much easier for us defenders.
“I think we played an intelligent game and waited for the exact moment to kill the game. It was a very important win for our ambitions.”