Chelsea FC Need To Improve Despite Beating Manchester United, Says Gary Neville


Chelsea FC extended their lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League with a resolute 1-0 victory over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, but former United Captain Gary Neville thinks that they can still be caught.

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PFA Player of The Year nominee Eden Hazard scored the winner in the first half of the match, after Oscar set him free with a fantastic back-heeled flick. The Blues were able to hold on for the win, despite having a meager 29 percent of the possession.

Jose Mourinho — who set his team up not to lose — claimed to be satisfied with the way the game was played out, and praised his team for ‘sticking to the plan’.

The Blues now need nine points to secure what would be their first Premier League trophy since the 2010/11 season, but wins from their next two games — vs Arsenal and Leicester City — would see them crowned champions before the end of April.

However, Neville believes that improvement is needed if the current Chelsea team are to match the one of 2005. The former defender, turned-pundit is also of the opinion that the Blues aren’t scot-free just yet.

"“I think Chelsea will have to improve again, because I think the others will catch them up.”“I don’t think it’s a Chelsea team like the first Chelsea team in 2005 that Mourinho had, but it’s a very good team that needs to improve to get to that next level.”“They were always so tough to play against, when you think of Ricardo Carvalho and William Gallas, John Terry, Michael Essien in midfield, Frank Lampard and Claude Makalele.”-Gary NevilleSource: Sky Sports"

Neville also highlighted similarities between the two squads, likening Hazard to Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben, and Diego Costa to a young Didier Drogba.

"“There’s a little bit of that coming back with Nemanja Matic and obviously the two centre-backs, Gary Cahill and Terry. The full-backs are very good defensively, the goalkeeper’s excellent as Petr Cech was first time round for Jose Mourinho.”“There are a lot of similarities – Arjen Robben is Hazard, Diego Costa is Didier Drogba first time round – there are some similarities building in this Chelsea team.”"

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This Chelsea team is obviously not as good as Mourinho’s first project, but given time, they could be much better. The game has changed since the Portuguese left the Premier League, with more cash being injected into clubs, and the overall level of competition rising, making the League the most interesting in the world.

Catching up to the Blues will prove a tall order. It would be hard to imagine them slipping up now; they should have no problem nicking nine points from six games.

Next: Who Is The Next Jurgen Klopp?