This weekend saw Chelsea lose the unbeaten record that they had so vigorously defended this season, and £100,000-a-week goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has admitted that they have to improve if they are to be crowned champions come the end of the campaign.
A Papiss Cisse double was enough to hand Jose Mourinho’s side their first loss in 23 games, and also allowed Manchester City to close the gap to three points at the summit of the Premier League.
Yet Courtois insists that there are positives to be taken and played up the Blues’ excellent start to the season. He did however warn that a lack of hard of work could see them lose top spot, with Manuel Pellegrini’s City breathing down their necks.
The Citizens were triumphant in their fixture against Everton, with the Sergio Aguero being the only obvious drawback for them. Chelsea meanwhile, who were without defensive rock Nemanja Matic, couldn't overcome Alan Pardew's side, and as such their brilliant momentum has faltered.
As far as Courtois is concerned he could do very little about either goal on the day. He was rendered helpless for Cisse's first thanks to Gary Cahill changing the direction of the ball as a cross was coming in, whilst the second took a nasty deflection before happening to fall to the feet of the Newcastle forward for him to prod home.
On the hunt
Elsewhere it seems that Chelsea are set to give themselves every chance of landing promising playmaker Anderson Talisca from Benfica. Over the weekend it emerged that they had scouted him again and will make an offer in January.
That's despite the fact that both Arsenal and Manchester United have been linked with the player in the past, and the fact that Mourinho can boast a surplus of requirements when it comes to attack-minded players.
- Chelsea are prepared to sacrifice either Oscar or Willian in order to get their hands on Arsenal target Moussa Sissoko, according to reports. The box-to-box midfielder is a target for some of the Premier League's biggest clubs due to his physical presence, and Mourinho could make changes in order to accomodate him.