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“After the game, it’s more difficult than before, We can no longer focus on chasing Manchester”

Cesar Azpilicueta said Chelsea can no longer put their attention on the title race after the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday.

Manchester City secured the back-to-back win against Chelsea, thanks to Kevin De Bruyne’s incredible strike in the second half.

While, in his post-match interview, Pep Guardiola insisted that the title race is not over yet, it is hard to imagine his team losing such a big lead given their consistency in the last few years.

Chelsea, on the other hand, now must start looking down in the table.

They currently still sit second, one and six points ahead of Liverpool and West Ham in third and fourth, respectively.

However, aside from Chelsea and Manchester City, the other 18 teams have at least another game in hand after recent match postponements.

It is hardly a surprise that Blues captain Azpilicueta has all but conceded that they are out of the title race.

After the game, it’s more difficult than before. We were 10 points behind, and we could have turned it into a seven-point gap,” the Spain international told NBC Sports.

“Of course, being 13 points behind is very difficult. You cannot focus on that [chasing Manchester City].

“We have to get the consistency of winning games, being solid, scoring goals back to get our rhythm — that’s the first thing.

“On Tuesday, [we will try to] get back to winning ways, because we know we have a tough game against Brighton.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JANUARY 15: Thomas Tuchel the manager / head coach of Chelsea reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium on January 15, 2022 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

If Chelsea could rediscover their form, securing a top-four finish, which is usually their minimum target, should not be a problem.

The problem is that their form in the league has been far from convincing.

They have done really well in cup competitions, but they only had one win from the last six league games.

So unless, as Azpilcueta said, Chelsea can get back to winning ways, dropping out of the top four could soon become a serious risk.

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