sport

Matic sets sights on title

Nemanja Matic is determined to help Chelsea clinch the Premier League title after missing out on a winner's medal in 2010.

The Serbian midfielder came on for the final 20 minutes as Carlo Ancelotti's side became champions four years ago with an 8-0 final-day demolition of Wigan Athletic.

He enjoyed the celebrations but it was only his second appearance of the season and he did not experience the same sense of satisfaction as most of his team-mates.

The game against Wigan also turned out to be the final outing of Matic's first spell at Stamford Bridge, but he is now establishing himself as a key player after returning to the club in January in a big-money deal from Benfica.

"I will always remember that Wigan game and how it was an amazing day for the club and all of us to celebrate the title," Matic told the London Evening Standard.

"But it would be much more special if I win the league with Chelsea this year because I would have made a bigger contribution. I think it's normal to feel that way.

"When you play more and are a part of the team, it is more special for you. It feels better than when you don't give something.

"All the players back then helped me a lot and tried to make me feel part of the celebrations but it's not quite the same as the position I'm in now."

Matic has helped Chelsea into a good position in the title race but there are still a couple of months remaining and Saturday's clash with Arsenal could prove pivotal.

"It will be significant if we can beat Arsenal and move another three points clear of them," Matic said.

"It's good for us that we also have such a record in all the big games at Stamford Bridge. It's always good to win but even better when you beat your rivals, win derbies."

Arsene Wenger will take charge of Arsenal for the 1000th time on Saturday and Matic has paid tribute to the Frenchman.

"I have a lot of respect for Arsene Wenger, for the coach he is and the amount of years he has been in charge of Arsenal. It is not easy for a coach to stay in one club for that long.

"I like the style of football he uses. They always like to play good football, like we try to play. They have a lot of good players but we do, too. We have our quality."