Chelsea can’t relax in title race, warns Branislav Ivanovic

Branislav Ivanovic hails Chelsea's 'massive win' at Villa Park

Branislav Ivanovic has warned Chelsea that they can’t afford to relax in the Premier League title race despite extending their lead to seven points at the top of the table.

The Blues were 2-1 winners at Villa Park on Saturday after the Serbia international scored a 66th-minute winner against struggling Aston Villa.

However, Ivanovic, who has scored five goals in his last seven games against the Birmingham side, wasn’t getting carried away with the west London’s slender win.

Speaking to Chelsea’s website following the 2-1 win, Ivanovic said: “We cannot be relaxed. This is a massive three points for us. The game was very tough but at the end of the day I think we deserved three points.

“We knew they hadn’t scored for a long time, which made some extra pressure for them, but for us also. We knew they had to react and it was a very difficult game. In the end it was a massive three points.

“We don’t have time to relax even one second. There are 14 games to go and we must stay focused. Seven points is big but this can change quickly.”

Willian teed up Eden Hazard for the Premier League leader’s first-half opener at Villa Park before Jores Okore levelled at the start of the second half.

However, Ivanovic scored an emphatic winner after the right-back rifled a volley past Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan to seal three points with 24 minutes remaining.

Chelsea welcome Everton to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Wednesday night.

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