Chelsea took a ‘big step’ towards securing the Premier League title with their 2-1 home win over Manchester City, says boss Antonio Conte.
Two goals from Eden Hazard saw off City and kept the Blues seven points clear of second-placed Tottenham with eight games left.
Spurs had closed the gap at the weekend as Chelsea lost to Crystal Palace but Blues boss Conte was relieved to return to winning ways against City.
Conte told BT Sport 1: “(It was) another step – a big step – against a great team. They have a lot of qualities.
“I think we showed to be a great team, to win a difficult game after a defeat against Crystal Palace. It wasn’t easy to reply very well in this way. I’m satisfied for this but we have to continue this way.
“We must think that Tottenham could win all their games. We need 18 points to win the title. I think we are playing a great season but to win the title there is a long way to go.”
Hazard was happy to play his part in a scrappy victory. He scored the opener and put Chelsea back ahead from the rebound of his own saved penalty after Sergio Aguero had equalised for the visitors.
“It is a big win,” the Belgian winger said.
“I don’t know if the way we played was beautiful but the most important thing is to win games. I think the way we played we can do better but after a defeat it’s good to come back here and win three points.
“We have eight games to play. We want to finish top. That’s the target. We have to be ready for everything.
“We are nearly there but there is a long way to go. We have some difficult games but we are ready for everything.”