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Matic downbeat on title hopes

Chelsea's Nemanja Matic was devastated after Saturday's defeat by Sunderland blew apart their title hopes.

Last Updated: 20/04/14 at 14:07 Post Comment

Nemanja Matic: Suffered a devastating defeat at Stamford Bridge

Nemanja Matic: Suffered a devastating defeat at Stamford Bridge

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Loan star Fabio Borini's penalty sealed Sunderland's 2-1 victory in a lively encounter, handing the striker's parent club Liverpool the upper hand in the battle for Premier League honours.

Chelsea can expect contact from the Football Association on Tuesday over Ramires' apparent elbow in the face of Sunderland's Sebastian Larsson that went unpunished, and assistant coach Rui Faria's sending off for confronting fourth official Phil Dowd.

The result meant Jose Mourinho's men trailed Liverpool by two points with the leaders playing Norwich in Sunday's Sky Live showdown at Carrow Road.

"I can say that we gave our best, I saw after the game that every player was sad because of the result," Matic told Chelsea TV.

"We tried, we fought until the end for the result, until the last minute, and we were unlucky not to win. Everybody knew how important it was for us, this game, but that's football.

"Now we can't do anything, we have to look forward, get focused on the Champions League, because as you know the Premier League title is going to be difficult to win."

Mourinho suffered his first home Premier League defeat in 78 games on Saturday, and Chelsea will face leaders Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.

Chelsea have the perfect stage to hit back when they play Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League on Tuesday in Spain.

Former Chelsea midfielder and Sunderland boss Gus Poyet admitted winning at his old stomping ground proved a "special" moment, and may even sway the title destination.

"It could be the key moment for the title," said Poyet, who spent four years at Stamford Bridge in his attacking midfield heyday.

"Everybody's going to be talking about Fabio (Borini) now because he's a Liverpool player. He's going to have a few digs from a few friends from Liverpool that's for sure, but I can assure you that we played only for Sunderland, we didn't play for anyone else."

Chelsea will hope goalkeeper Petr Cech will recover from the virus that ruled him out of the Sunderland defeat in time for Tuesday's Atletico trip.

The Blues will also sweat on the fitness of midfielder Eden Hazard, who will need to train on Monday to have any chance of making Mourinho's match squad for the Madrid battle.

Brazilian midfielder Ramires could well have played his last Chelsea game this season too, after appearing to strike Sunderland's Larsson in the face.

Ramires' strike was missed by referee Mike Dean, and the fact the official took no action leaves the door open for the FA to impose a charge.

Chelsea assistant coach Faria can also expect FA censure after being sent off for over-zealous criticism of fourth official Dowd.

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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
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o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
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