Wednesday 16 January 2019

Blues not fazed by Pellegrini comments

Chelsea believe the statistics speak for themselves in response to Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini's "small team" taunt.

Pellegrini likened the approach of Jose Mourinho's side to Stoke following Sunday's 1-1 Premier League draw at the Etihad Stadium, when Chelsea record goalscorer Frank Lampard rescued a point for the hosts.

Assistant first-team coach Steve Holland, undertaking media duties prior to tonight's Capital One Cup third-round tie with Bolton in place of Mourinho, said: "Chelsea have scored 16 goals in five matches this season, which, without being petty, Manchester City have scored eight in five. Twice as many goals in five matches.

"Jose has always been very clever tactically against the bigger clubs. Last year proved that. I'm sure he'll continue down that line.

"I don't think there's any need to respond beyond that.

"We'll just continue with our work and try to win as many football matches as possible."

The draw helped Chelsea more than City, with the Blues leading the standings and five points clear of their opponents after five games as they look for a first title in more than four years.

Bolton are opponents who come with some nostalgia for Chelsea.

Two goals from Lampard at Wanderers secured the 2-0 win which confirmed Chelsea's first championship in 50 years in 2005.

It was surreal for many to see Lampard, after 13 years and 211 goals for Chelsea, scoring against the Blues, who now believe themselves to be credible title contenders once more.

Chelsea last won the title in 2010 and finished four points behind City in the first season of Mourinho's return.

Holland added: "Last year we hoped. This year we believe. There is a difference.

"This year there is a greater belief than last year. We feel the depth that we have in the squad, the balance that we have in the squad. Physically, mentally, tactically, the team has progressed and the team is ready to put on a real challenge."

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