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Saturday 18 November 2017

Conte not talking titles yet after victory at Goodison

Everton 0-3 Chelsea

(l-r) Gary Cahill celebrates with Chelsea team-mate Pedro
(l-r) Gary Cahill celebrates with Chelsea team-mate Pedro

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte insists the Premier League title is far from won and that they must become champions in order for a good season to become a "fantastic one".

The Premier League leaders were held for over an hour at Goodison Park before a brilliant strike from Pedro broke the deadlock and was followed by goals in the last 11 minutes from Gary Cahill and substitute Willian in a 3-0 victory.

It was a significant win as it ensured the initiative stayed with the Stamford Bridge side as nearest-rivals Tottenham, who began the day four points behind, kicked off later in the day.

With just four matches left Chelsea remain firmly in the driving seat, but Conte is taking nothing for granted despite his and his players' celebrations with the travelling fans after the final whistle.

Asked how close the title now was, he said: "I don't know. It is a great win but at this part of the season every win is a great win for us.

"For this reason we must celebrate in the right way, with my players, with the staff, with our fans.

"We have to have great enthusiasm and great patience because I think we are having a great season but to become a fantastic season we must win.

"Now it is important for us to prepare the right way the next game. If we don't win against Middlesbrough (a week on Monday) then you lose this great win. It is very important after this crucial week for us because we played against Tottenham in the FA Cup and then on Tuesday against Southampton and now against Everton.

"I think we finished a crucial week very well. We all know there is this part of the season that is more important."

Everton barely troubled their visitors once Dominic Calvert-Lewin had hit the post inside the first 70 seconds, and manager Ronald Koeman conceded Chelsea's second-half performance, in particular, showed they would be worthy champions. "Maybe in the last 30 minutes, yes," he said.

"We started well and were a bit unlucky when we hit the post.

"I think we did some mistakes in our ball possession and that makes them really dangerous in the first half, but I think we did a good job until the 1-0. After that it makes it more difficult to create really open chances.

"The third goal was that high quality offensive football but maybe we didn't deserve this defeat with three goals difference."

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