Nemanja Matic admits Tottenham are making title run-in tough for Chelsea

simon johnson
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Nemanja Matic admits Tottenham are making the title far harder for Chelsea to win than Manchester City did two years ago.

Chelsea remain favourites to lift the trophy on May 21 as they are four points clear with as many games remaining.

It would mean a second crown in three years having led from start to finish during the 2014-15 campaign, although Manchester City did draw level with them in January that season.

City's challenge faded though in the final weeks, whereas Tottenham have won their last nine League games to keep up the pressure on the Blues.

The Chelsea players celebrated like they had clinched first spot after winning at Everton 3-0 yesterday, only for Spurs to respond by beating Arsenal 2-0.

When asked by Standard Sport to compare their current bid to win the League compared to their last triumph, he said: "I think this year is more difficult.

"We finished 2015 eight points clear of Man City. I'm not sure this will be the case with Tottenham.

"I'm sure they will not give up until end of the season. At this moment it's hard, but we will see. Each time we win, they win, two years ago that was not the case."

Tottenham could close to within a point before Chelsea play Middlesbrough next Monday as they face West Ham on Friday.

Matic is convinced Chelsea could handle the extra pressure that would bring having been part of the side that responded well to Manchester City drawing level two years ago.

They were only separated on alphabetical order on New Year's Day because their records were identical and Matic added: "If I remember, on January 1 when we lost 5-3 against Tottenham, we had the same points. But in 2015 we had good openings against Manchester City - it was great.

"This season is hard. We win and Tottenham win, they are always close. But the important thing is that we are playing well, we take points and we will see if they can drop some points.

"They have some difficult games, home and away, so everything is open until the end."

Meanwhile, Matic admits his stunning strike against Spurs in the FA Cup semi-final last week is starting to haunt him.

The Serbia international scored one of the greatest Wembley goals by drilling the ball into the top corner to secure a 4-2 victory.

But now he feels he has some tough expectations to live up to from the crowd and his son.

Speaking with a smile on his face, Matic explained: "When I get close to the edge of the area now, I hear Chelsea fans shout 'shoot!' Every time I receive the ball on the half way line, they say 'shoot!'

"I scored that goal and now everyone expects that I can shoot from every distance, but this is football.

"Since scoring at Wembley I have watched it back just 10 times. But my son has seen it back 100 times, so it's been on 110 in total!"

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