Alvaro Morata spoke of his respect for his team-mates and his optimism about the rest of the season after his goal inspired the Blues to a Boxing Day win over a stubborn Brighton side.
Our 12-goal topscorer came back with a bang to set up our sixth Premier League win in a row at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea continued our impressive record in this festive fixture.
Morata returned from suspension to put his name on the scoresheet, breaking the deadlock seconds after the interval. His goal reinvigorated Antonio Conte’s men, who had come up against sturdy resistance throughout the first period in our inaugural Premier League meeting with the Seagulls.
Morata’s opening goal was an increasingly familiar sight, with Cesar Azpilicueta once again supplying a pinpoint cross into the penalty area for his compatriot. It was the sixth time the Spanish duo had combined, prompting Conte to joke that Morata owes Azpi a few meals.
‘It was very nice to get another goal. Not only Cesar and I but the entire team have a good understanding,’ said the equally appreciative striker.
‘It’s great to be playing here at Chelsea and playing with Cesar,’ said our summer signing. ‘He is an exceptional person and an exceptional player. We worked well in the second half to earn the win. It was a very important victory for us like every match will be for the rest of the season.’
The win kept us in third place, one point behind Manchester United and 16 points behind league leaders Manchester City. Nevertheless, Morata was positive about the remainder of the campaign and hopeful the Blues can reduce the gap.
‘It’s difficult, but we’ll do what we can,’ he explained. ‘It will also be difficult for City to keep winning so many games. What we have to do is to pick up all the points available by winning every game. If we win, we can hope that they lose, because that is all we can do.’
By Danny Wittenberg