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Chelsea skipper John Terry has sent a warning to the club's Premier League title rivals Arsenal that they will leapfrog them into first position sooner, rather than later. The two clubs collide in one of the marquee fixtures of the Christmas fixture pile-up as, on Monday, December 23, the Blues travel to their gaff for an evening kick-off.
'Ideally I'd like to be sitting top of the league,' the centre back is quoted to have said by the club's official website. 'I feel as though it will come and we'll get better and better.'
Terry continued: 'The Premier League is more open than I've ever seen it. We saw that with Hull beating Liverpool. It was important [for Chelsea to beat Southampton] with Man U and Liverpool dropping points. It was a chance to push on and pull away from them.
'I'm delighted that the team are playing well, my form's very good. I can chip in with a couple of goals.'
Terry's defensive partner, Gary Cahill, meanwhile talked up the manner in which the club overcame a 13 second concession to go 3-1 ahead, finishing the match with maximum points.
'It was a terrible start for us, one of the worst you can imagine in a game, but you just have to pretend it hasn't happened because there's nothing you can do about it. We still had 89 minutes to turn the game around and put it right.
'It was far from ideal because it puts them on the front foot and gives them a bit of confidence, but in the end it made the victory even better because we showed great character in the second half to get the goals and get the win.
'It was a very important win. When you lose a game you always look to bounce back with a victory. We were under a little bit of pressure because we saw the other scores, so we knew we had to get a result.'
Currently second in the Premier League, Chelsea - with 27 - have separated themselves from the other challengers for the number one position as they are two points ahead of Manchester City, on 25. Arsenal, though, are four points ahead of the West Londoners but Branislav Ivanovic is confident the Gunners' lead will not last long and that Chelsea have their best chance to win the crown since 2010.
'At this stage in the years before [since winning the title in 2010] we would always be trailing by a lot of points but we are up there now and this has given us an opportunity,' said the Serb, as quoted by The Guardian. 'It's a good thing when you go into each game feeling you are there and right at the top.
'It's not like last year, where we had to run for the points and it put us under pressure, and made everything much more difficult. We have improved as a team but we have to show it every game. At the moment, this is our best chance since 2010 but we have to be careful and carry on, fighting for every game and every point.'
And finally, the Premier League released a number of statistics following the conclusion of roughly one third of the season's matches. Here are the ones concerning Chelsea…
- Chelsea have now won eight points from losing positions in the Barclays Premier League this season, more than any other side.
- In his 400th Barclays Premier League appearance, John Terry scored his 34th goal. Excluding penalties, he is the top-scoring defender in Barclays Premier League history.
- Chelsea trailed for the third time in four Barclays Premier League home matches.
- Jose Mourinho remains unbeaten at home in the Barclays Premier League (W52 D15).
- This match had the seventh lowest pass completion rate of the season (from 130 Barclays Premier League matches) – 73.5%.
image: © jorge-11