CHELSEA star Eden Hazard has warned his team-mates that they have to stop starting games slowly.
The Belgian winger scored twice during Saturday’s 3-1 win over Newcastle, including a delicately chipped second-half penalty.
But the Blues had to come from behind as Dwight Gayle fired into home for the visitors on 12 minutes.
It was the third time this season that Chelsea fell behind to an early goal in the Premier League and Hazard insists that his side must improve if they want to be considered genuine title contenders.
“It’s good to have a reaction like this, but at Stamford Bridge we cannot concede the first goal so we need to improve this,” he said.
‘We were in trouble for the first 10 or 15 minutes, then we had a reaction – which is a good thing.
“Also we should have scored more goals because we produced a lot of chances, but at the end, we won the game.”
Antonio Conte’s men are currently third in the table, 11 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City.
They’re now unbeaten in seven league games and will be hoping to extend that run when they travel to struggling West Ham on Saturday.
Before that clash they face their final Champions League group game as they welcome Atletico Madrid to Stamford Bridge tomorrow evening.
Antonio Conte sends message to Chelsea supporters about Man City in title race
Antonio Conte has refused to rule out Chelsea in the Premier League title race.
The defending champions have ground to make up on current leaders Manchester City following the west London side’s sluggish start to the season.
Chelsea have already lost to Burnley, Crystal Palace and Manchester City to leave Conte’s men with an uphill task in the title race.
However, the Blues have won six of their last seven Premier League games with a 1-1 draw at top-four rivals Liverpool FC the one blotch on their record.
Indeed, Conte’s men came from 1-0 down to ease to a 3-1 win against former manager Rafael Benitez and his Newcastle side at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
Chelsea moved to within eight points of leaders Manchester City ahead of their home clash against West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium in the weekend’s final fixture.
The west London side could reduce the deficit next weekend if Manchester United do the defending champions a favour and take points off Manchester City in the derby at Old Trafford.
Speaking to BBC Sport about Chelsea’s title prospects following a 3-1 win over Newcastle, Conte said:
“I’m happy but in this league there is a team doing extraordinary things, Man City. At the same time it’s important to look at ourselves and go step by step.”
Chelsea won the title with two games to spare last term after finishing seven points clear of Tottenham Hotspur.