Courtois: Come and catch us

Courtois: Come and catch us

The Belgian shot-stopper believes that the pressure is on the chasing pack to displace the league leaders, who sit seven points clear.

Cian Woulfe

Thibaut Courtois has challenged Chelsea's title rivals to keep up with the rampant Blues after Antonio Conte's men slayed reigning Premier League champions Leicester City on Saturday.

The Belgian shot-stopper, who uprooted Stamford Bridge legend Petr Cech as the Blues' first-choice goalkeeper in 2014, told Chelsea's official website that the club's rivals should heed warning from the ease with which his side dispatched of the title holders at the King Power stadium.

A brace from wing-back Marcos Alonso either side of half-time before a late Pedro third condemned the Foxes to their 10th defeat of the season and ensured that Chelsea moved seven points clear at the top after Liverpool's draw with Manchester United on Sunday.

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No Costa, no problem

And Courtois believes that the victory showed Chelsea's ability to adapt  after the controversial absence of Diego Costa from their matchday squad following the combustible Spaniard's reported fall-out with Conte last week.

"Obviously after a defeat, and with other teams winning, we knew we had to win as well," said the Belgian. "We did it the right way, by playing good football. I think we controlled the game."

Courtois added that the Blues' makeshift front line of Pedro, Willian and Eden Hazard was more than capable of dealing with the sizeable Leicester defence, saying: "It’s obviously a different way of playing because against [Robert] Huth and [Wes] Morgan, who are tall, there’s no point playing long balls up to Eden, Willian or Pedro."

Courtois insists that continuity is key for the Blues as they approach a difficult few weeks in which their title credentials will be thoroughly tested by the likes of Hull City, Arsenal and Liverpool - with the latter being the game on everyone's lips.

"We just have to take it game by game but the most important thing is for us to go to Anfield [on 31 January] with the biggest gap possible," said the 24-year-old. "Now, at home against Hull we have to get the three points and then go to Anfield with this gap, because anything could happen there."