Chelsea’s recent flirt with inconsistency has led to Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois sounding the alarm on their season.
Fresh off the back of their disappointing loss to Roma, they'll have to pick up their heads, as they expect a visit from Manchester United on Sunday - a tie Courtois has labelled a 'must win'. However, he stresses that his side must defend better if they’re going to come out on top against United.
Courtois said, as quoted by ESPN: "We must win games like these to remain at the top and close to the other [contenders]. We will try to get the three points and will give our lives for it on Sunday."
The preemptive warning from the Belgian keeper, comes from their 3-0 loss in Rome, which was also a must win game. The nature of the loss has left a sour taste in Chelsea’s mouth, and comes at the most inopportune time.
Chelsea will need to respond if they’re to keep track of Manchester City at the top – who at the moment seem to be running away uncontested with title.
"This is a must-win game," Courtois added. "Manchester City are already nine points ahead of us, Manchester United four and Tottenham one.
Chelsea’s leaky defence have dishevelled Antonio Conte’s philosophy of an impenetrable defence that helped them win the league last season. So far, Chelsea have only kept five clean sheets in all competitions.
Some have pointed to N’Golo Kante’s absence as a significant reason for their defensive mishaps, though Courtois has his own prognosis, "I think we have to start again, maybe have the balance like last season, try to defend first and then look to score goals.
"This season we are conceding more chances than we did last year. We have to try to get that extra step in, that extra percent to stop actions, not be 90 percent. Maybe with a lot of games, sometimes you maybe go a bit less."