Gianfranco Zola has insisted that Chelsea are still in the title race despite being seven points behind Arsenal in the Premier League table. The Blues legend believes his former club will remain in the mix until the end.
Arsenal have made a flying start to the season with nine wins in their opening 10 matches. They are the team to beat this season, while Manchester City are close behind with 23 points from their 10 matches.
The west London side switched managers last month, sacking Thomas Tuchel for Graham Potter, and have been unbeaten in the league since. Speaking after the draw at Brentford, Zola told Amazon Prime via Daily Mail:
“It’s still possible. Chelsea is a very good team and has a big squad and they can be competitive in the Champions League and even in the league, I said before you cannot rule out a team like Chelsea from the title race.
“I mean there are a lot of difficult games for the top teams, but Chelsea will be there, obviously they will have to make another step forward to raise the quality but they will be there.”
“Chelsea’s a big team and they are close to the top of the table so you may say playing Brentford they need to win, so a draw is not a good result.
“But considering that this Brentford team really is a tough client, I consider this was a good point for Chelsea.”
Zola praises Chelsea star after Brentford draw
The Blues legend went on to praise Mateo Kovacic for his performance at Brentford.
He claimed that the Croatian has improved a lot and said:
“He’s a player that has become very consistent. First of all he barely loses the ball, he’s always in control and under pressure you can pass the ball to him, he never loses it. He’s always very creative.
“He’s a player who has improved so much playing in that position. I have to say fair enough to Thomas Tuchel; he played him in that position and it suits him so well.”
Zola worked with Kovacic during his time as the assistant coach under Maurizio Sarri.