Belfast Telegraph

Robertson: Chelsea bound for title

Hull defender Andy Robertson has "no doubt" Chelsea will claim the Barclays Premier League title after witnessing their winning habit first hand.

Jose Mourinho's men restored their six-point lead over Manchester City with a 3-2 victory at the KC Stadium on Sunday, substitute Loic Remy grabbing the winner after the Blues let an early two-goal lead slip.

Relegation battlers Hull pressed hard for an unlikely decider of their own with the scores tied but Chelsea held on and took their chance when it came.

And for Scotland international Robertson, those are the qualities that will stand them apart at the end of the campaign.

"There's no doubt Chelsea will be champions," he told Press Association Sport.

"I can't see past them and to be honest I haven't been able to see past them for a while now.

"If they're not at their best they have a manager in Mourinho who gets them to grind out results and that's what they've done again, that's the side they are.

"It's three more points and a step closer to the title.

"At 2-2 we were able to press them higher and make chances, which they didn't deal with too well, but they ground it out and that's why they are going to be champions."

The Tigers may not have improved their own position at the wrong end of the table, but the manner in which they took on the front-runners can at least leave them in good heart.

They have arguably the toughest run-in of the bottom five, with Southampton, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United still to come, and the ability to compete with the top sides will be a must.

"I don't think we can fault our performance after going 2-0 down to the soon-to-be champions in the first 10 minutes," said Robertson.

"Our two strikers had their centre-backs on toast, they couldn't deal with our lads at all.

"John Terry and Gary Cahill are two very good defenders but credit to our strikers, they made them look very ordinary. Unfortunately for us their keeper was on great form.

"If you look at our results we've already picked up points against Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool and we've run Chelsea close twice now, so we take a lot of positives from that.

"A point would have been a bonus but we're glad nobody else picked anything up so we've lost no ground."

Had Chelsea lost points, Thibaut Courtois' first-half gaffe for Hull's equaliser would surely have become a bigger talking point.

The Belgian goalkeeper inexplicably miscontrolled Branislav Ivanovic's back pass straight to striker Abel Hernandez, who was left with an open net for his first goal since October.

With the benefit of the three points, not to mention an otherwise superb display from Courtois, Mourinho was able to sweep the incident aside.

"If you tell our goalkeeper every time he has a back pass to kick the ball to the stands the second goal doesn't come, but we don't say that," he said.

"He tried to play, lost the rebound, the defenders didn't open a passing line to play from the back: goal.

"Everybody is unhappy, obviously, I am probably the first one.

"But I told the players at half-time, there is no point now in analysing details and mistakes of the first half. The point is to go back to our football.

"The first minute of the second half the team went back to quality football, to creation, to movement.

"I think we deserved to win."

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