Didi Hamann: Man City can blow title race wide open if Chelsea can’t shake weekend hangover

The Blues are looking over their shoulder after shock defeat to Crystal Palace and Pep’s inconsistent players can pounce.

Up until the Crystal Palace defeat on Saturday quite a few Chelsea players probably wouldn’t have even checked the remaining fixtures, but I’m sure they’ll be looking at them now.

There’ll be a few doubts now because they’ll want to know how many points are needed to win the Premier League. Psychologically, things could change for The Blues after that defeat.

Stopping complacency from creeping into The Blues dressing room will be Antonio Conte’s biggest test to date. This is where as a manager you earn your money, because you need to ensure your team are in the right frame of mind to close it out.

It’s important to find the right words to relax his players and focus on the task at hand. To be fair in Conte, Chelsea have the best man for the job as he’s won three Italian league titles.

The top teams win titles because they’re not complacent and they know how to win matches. I don’t believe this Chelsea side will make the same mistake Liverpool did a few seasons back and overthink their way out of a title.

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That being said, Tottenham have nothing to lose and the pressure is all on The Blues now. I don’t see Spurs going away, the way they are winning without Harry Kane is very impressive.

If Chelsea don’t win on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge, it only takes one more loss and Tottenham could be in touching distance. So the title race is back on!

Every game is a cup final for Chelsea now and any dropped points is a chance for Spurs to close in further. The fixtures don’t come much tougher than Man City and The Citizens can get a result on Wednesday.

Chelsea haven’t lost consecutive games at home this season and the Manchester outfit are not too far off clicking. With a cloud hanging over Chelsea after the Palace loss, Pep’s men can do them.

Man City missed a trick with Sunday’s draw at Arsenal to get themselves right back into the fight.  They looked a more settled team and you can see what the manager wants to do with them now, but they’ve let another chance to close the gap go – they’ve got to learn to close games out.

If you’re ahead twice against a side low in confidence like Arsenal, you’ve got to win that game. Lost opportunities have really been the story of the second half of the season for Guardiola’s outfit.

If you look at the games where they’ve dropped points, they should have won them if they were going to challenge for the title. City have really thrown away so many chances to be in the mix this season.

One of the problems at the club is they’re over reliant on Sergio Aguero as a goalscorer. Kevin De Bruyne is probably the only other regular goal threat, Silva doesn’t score that many and Sterling only clips in here and there.

They don’t spread goals around as well as other teams do, even though Leroy Sane is starting to come into his own. Man City really need to find goals from midfield.

Since Yaya Toure stopped scoring regularly two or three years ago, they’ve not replaced that and are lacking a consistent threat from other parts of the pitch. Aguero simply can’t be asked to do it on his own all the time.

If they fail to win at the Bridge then you’d have to say their title challenge is finished, even a draw is not enough at this stage. I don’t reckon Chelsea are on Guardiola’s mind, but they might be in four weeks’ time if they were to win on Wednesday and results continue go their way.

Pep should be far more worried at the moment about Liverpool, Arsenal and Man United in the race for the Champions League places.

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What do you think?