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Thibaut Courtois: Too early to count Chelsea out of title race

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Arsenal v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images

On Saturday, Thibaut Courtois collected his second clean sheet of the season (in seven games), a more than welcome change of pace from the rather leaky Chelsea defense of the previous few weeks. Although Courtois wasn't tested by Hull as much as he was against Arsenal or Liverpool, he did well when called upon, including an tremendous save in the third minute from Robert Snodgrass’s free kick that could’ve otherwise changed that whole course of the match.

While many saw the back-to-back bad results against direct title and top-four rivals as a reality check and an opportunity reduce expectations for the season, Courtois claims it's too soon to count Chelsea out of the title race.

"It's too early to talk about us being out of the title race. We all know the Premier League and it can change really fast. We are only in October and so I'd say it is too soon to tell. Obviously we have to start winning more of our games."

"After the international break we have some important games, which we need to win as well. We might be back up there if we do, we will see."

When facing small teams such as Hull and Burnley, Chelsea have had little to no trouble in getting three points. But against other big teams, the same players seemed to crumble, committing mistakes and being punished for them.

According to Courtois, the difference is in the small details.

"In those big games, every small detail can change the game. Against Liverpool, for the first goal they had a lot of players free on the second post and then Jordan Henderson scored a world class goal. To come back from 2-0 is not easy."

"Against Arsenal it was the same, we conceded two early goals and it is difficult to react. These are the details we need to get going in our favour and then things will be alright."

-Thibaut Courtois; Source: London Evening Standard

Good mentality from the Chelsea goalkeeper, whose desire to win and play for the shirt has been questioned at times. If Chelsea can iron out the mistakes and continue to improve in Conte’s system(s), we could indeed be in with a realistic shot at the top four, or, if we’re really lucky, the title itself.