Wounded Tottenham stars Harry Kane and Toby Alderweireld have warned Chelsea that it would be foolish to mistake their FA Cup semi-final triumph for a psychological edge in the Premier League title race.
Spurs twice fought back to level at Wembley on Saturday, but despite being in the ascendancy they succumbed to two quick-fire goals in a 4-2 defeat and a seventh successive FA Cup loss at the last-four stage.
But it was the intent of Tottenham’s performance which Kane believes will have resonated in the Chelsea camp and heightened concerns over the fragility of their four-point top-flight lead.
“They’ve got respect for us. For large parts we were by far the better team and they know we’re going to play like that for the rest of the season,” said Kane.
“A lot of people will be looking at us now to see what happens, now momentum has stopped a bit, but we’re focused and want to finish strongly in the league.
“I feel we’re mentally strong and that we’ve learnt from last year. Hopefully this is just a blip in what has been a great season so far.
“They know they’ve still got a job to do in the league, but so do we.”
Alderweireld echoed Kane’s sentiments and remains confident that the current Spurs vintage, under the stewardship of Mauricio Pochettino, are on the cusp of ending the club’s trophy drought.
“This team will get there. We’re confident. Eventually it will come. We know if we keep doing the same things as we’re doing now, keep working hard and keep developing ourselves then we’ll get there,” said the Belgium centre-half.
Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas, meanwhile, was thrown on in the second period along with fellow substitutes Eden Hazard and Diego Costa as Blues boss Antonio Conte looked for control in the game.
Hazard scored Chelsea’s third goal and former Barcelona midfielder Fabregas is adamant that only a lack of selfishness is preventing the Belgian playmaker from being the finest player on the planet.
“Ability-wise, there is maybe only one player above him and that’s [Lionel] Messi,” said the former Arsenal skipper.
“Ability-wise, he is up there with the best. In my opinion, and I’ve told him many times, he needs to be selfish sometimes and have that killer-instinct to score more goals.
“All top players are selfish and if he improves that in future then he will be unstoppable and be whatever he wants to be.”