Chelsea defender David Luiz in defiant message to Tottenham

David Luiz has acknowledged the threat posed by Tottenham in the Premier League title race, but has pointed out that Chelsea “are top of the table for a reason”.

The Blues have dominated the battle for domestic supremacy in England, with a 13-match winning streak seeing them surge clear at the summit.

What looked to be a procession at one stage has, however, become a little nervy for the Blues, with their lead trimmed to just four points.

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Luiz is aware that Spurs are now the form side in the division, but remains confident that Antonio Conte’s side are still favourites to take the crown.

"Tottenham are playing very well but also we are top of the table for a reason," he told Chelsea's official website.

"We still have to play a lot of football, so we need to look forward and play the next games."

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Chelsea allowed the chasing pack to close a little further on Sunday as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat at Manchester United.

Their pre-match preparations for that game were hampered by an untimely injury to goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and a sickness bug which swept through the squad.

Marcos Alonso was unable to take part in the contest due to feeling unwell, but Luiz insists his absence on the left cannot be blamed for destabilising the team.

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He added: "He felt a bit sick so that is why we had to change but it didn’t affect the game because Marcos did not play.

"We lost because we did not play very well and it was not the Chelsea like before and sometimes this happens. Manchester United played better than us and they deserved to win."

Chelsea are back in action on Saturday in an FA Cup semi-final clash with Tottenham, before returning to Premier League competition on April 25 at home to Southampton.

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