Chelsea took ‘big psychological step’ – Conte

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte declared that his team had taken “a big psychological step” towards the Premier League title following their win against Southampton.

The Blues’ 4-2 victory at Stamford Bridge took them seven points clear of second-placed Tottenham, who play Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

Conte’s side were below par in their recent defeat at Manchester United but have bounced back with an FA Cup semi-final triumph against Spurs and a resounding win over the Saints.

“The most important thing is to look at ourselves. Tonight it was a big win for us,” Conte declared.

“I think we passed a big psychological step after the defeat against United, where we lost three points and then had to prepare for a semi-final against Tottenham and then another tough game in the league.

“In that moment we have had a big psychological test and our answer was very good. For this reason I must be pleased.

“We must be thinking that this race is still open. But I think we are ready to fight until the end.

“Now it’s very important for us to fight and to try to win the title.”

Chelsea took an early lead through Eden Hazard and then hit back after Oriol Romeu’s equaliser, with Gary Cahill putting them back in front before Diego Costa scored twice in the second half.

Conte said: “It wasn’t easy because we faced a very strong team who didn’t have any pressure. I’m pleased with our fantastic performance.”