Antonio Conte delivers verdict on Chelsea’s Premier League title bid

The Chelsea manager insists the west London side will keep fighting until the end in the Premier League title race

Antonio Conte has refused to set a target for Chelsea’s 2016-17 campaign after the Blues hoisted themselves into top spot on Sunday night.

The west London side eased to a 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium on Sunday evening thanks to Diego Costa’s 41st-minute winner.

The Spanish striker’s 10th Premier League of the 2016-17 season moved Chelsea ahead of Liverpool and Manchester City in the title race.

The Blues haven’t dropped any points since a 3-0 loss to title rivals Arsenal in north London at the end of September.

In fact, Chelsea have won their last six Premier League games to make Conte’s side the form team in the English top flight this season.

Speaking at his post-match media conference on Sunday evening, the Chelsea manager refused to commit to a Premier League title challenge.

“After two defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal, for sure it wasn’t simple to believe we would have six wins in a row, above all without conceding any goals,” Conte told Chelsea’s website. “This league is very difficult to have success in and to win six games in a row is fantastic.

“A month-and-a-half ago, after two defeats, Chelsea wasn’t a favourite or a team that can fight for the title until the end. Now it’s very difficult to change our opinion completely. It’s hard to say our target now. I want to wait until the second half of the season.

“But I know, and the players and our fans know, that Chelsea might fight until the end for something.”

Chelsea have beaten Hull City, Leicester City, Manchester United, Southampton, Everton and Middlesbrough in their last six Premier League games.

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The Blues have scored 17 times and have kept six successive clean sheets in their last six Premier League games.

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