Premier League

October 20, 2012


Tottenham Hotspur

2 - 4


Premier League

11:45 +00:00, October 20, 2012

White Hart Lane, England

Di Matteo: Title talk premature

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo is still refusing to declare his side genuine title contenders despite their impressive 4-2 win over Tottenham.

The Blues came from 2-1 behind to claim their seventh Premier League win of the season as Di Matteo's attacking players continue to impress. Despite the result, Di Matteo believes it is premature to start talking about whether Chelsea are the favourites for the title.

"I think I would say it is too early to say that," he said. "There are 30 games still to play. It makes us a team that is strong and makes our start even better, but with 30 more games I still think that you have to wait until the Christmas period."

The stand-out performances from the visitors to White Hart Lane came from their flair players with Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar all catching the eye.

Di Matteo is happy with the way his new-look side are playing, but said he would not compromise results just to play good football.

"Ultimately we want to win games, we want to win in the way we think we can win games with the players we have," he said. "We don't go out and just say 'let's play good football and lose'. Our philosophy is to play in a certain way because we believe with the players we have that is the way to win games."

Di Matteo pinpointed the period of play after half-time where Spurs managed to grab a 2-1 lead as the only negative in his side's performance.

He said: "Spurs managing to grab the lead was the only negative of the day. Spurs came out of the dressing room in the second half very sharp - the early goal in the second half gave them a lot of confidence and momentum which we knew we had to ride out a little bit better.

"Apart from that, for the rest of the game we were very much in control. We took the initiative and wanted to impose ourselves and we managed to do so for most of the game."

The win came at the cost of former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas, who was facing the Blues for the first time since he was sacked in March.

"I think the game was won by individual brilliance from Oscar, Mata and Hazard who were tremendous today," the Portuguese said. "These are people who can unlock doors and create problems, and they certainly manage to find gaps and beat people because they are extremely creative and extremely good.

"A player is always a good player. We signed Mata for his talent and he is certainly not going to stop producing these moments of brilliance like he had today."

Villas-Boas also felt the passion of the occasion may have counted against his side as they looked to hold on to their 2-1 lead.

"I think on the positive side we have shown great strength of character to come back into the game in the second half," he said. "The amount of intensity was a problem because we wanted to calm the game down, but calming a game down at this level is extremely difficult.

"There is so much passion involved and so much emotion - it was so frenetic, us losing the ball and them losing the ball."

Mousa Dembele and Gareth Bale were both missing from the Spurs side and, despite being happy with the performance of their replacements, Villas-Boas acknowledged they were missed.

"We have plenty in the squad," he said. "But we missed them because they're quality. All of us here present know what they can do, but we replaced them with two good players as well who played really good as well in Sigurdsson and Huddlestone."

Scoring Summary

Tottenham Hotspur Chelsea
William Gallas (47')Gary Cahill (17')
Jermain Defoe (54')Juan Mata (66')
 Juan Mata (69')
 Daniel Sturridge (90')