Mikel Obi has come out to say that Chelsea will have be defensively conscious as they were last season if they will be able to withstand the firepower of Manchester United on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have been lauded for their offensive play this season with the addition of Eden Hazard and the aparkling form of Juan Mata.
“I don’t know if we’re a stronger team than the one that won the FA Cup and Champions League last season. We will have to see about that when the season ends,” Obi told the London Evening Standard.
“In terms of attacking play we are better but when you look at the other side, the defending part, it’s something we still have to work on.
“We have to play and defend together as a team. It is not all about the creativity. In the English game and in Europe you have to make sure you do the dirty work, too. If we fail to do that, we suffer.
“What happened in Shakhtar is a reminder that we are still a work in progress but it could turn out to be a positive thing because it means that everyone knows we have keep on working on it.”
Chelsea lost their Champions League tie in Ukraine on Tuesday with United also ready to exploit the gaps.
“I know people will look at what happened and question whether Chelsea are now going to have a bad time.
“It’s going to be difficult to face United after that loss. What happened on Tuesday has made this game more intense and put us under more pressure.
“But we have to think to ourselves that this is what we do for a living, this is why we play football and make sure we get back to the way we can play.
“We have built a four-point lead over them in the table and want to carry on that momentum. It has been a good thing for us so far in the League and we will look to sustain it.”
Though United have already lost twice in the league this season, Obi believes that their fighting spirit makes them contenders for the Premiership crown.
“People will say they have not been playing well but they have still been winning games. United are used to doing that, they seem to get results no matter how they’re playing.
“Van Persie has made them an even more dangerous side and we have to make sure we nullify that and get control of the game to keep him quiet. We have to defend as a team because that is something we failed to do on Tuesday.
“They will come to Stamford Bridge to get a result and we have to make sure we play very well. This is a massive game for us and if win the game, we will keep them seven points behind,” Obi concluded.