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Chelsea midfielder Ross Barley has disagreed with Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri over Chelsea’s title chances this season.

Following Chelsea’s 3-0 win at Southampton on Sunday, Sarri played down Chelsea’s title chances by insisting Liverpool and Manchester City were ahead of Chelsea.

Asked if Chelsea will stay at the top of the league, Sarri said: “It’s the same that I thought exactly one week ago and what I said.

“I think Manchester City and Liverpool are a step forward from us.

“We need to recover the gap. The gap last season was 30 points between City and Chelsea, now we are trying to cover the gap and we are working on that.

“I think it will be very difficult to cover so large a gap in one season.”

Barkley, who scored his first Chelsea goal in the win at Southampton, believes Chelsea are serious challengers to Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League title this season.

Asked if Chelsea are title contenders, Barkley told Sky Sports: “We’re serious. A lot of the team have already achieved the success of winning the league and that’s a goal of mine.

“Our end goal is to win the league but we’re taking each month as it comes to reach our goals and at the moment we’re achieving them.”

Barkley found first-team opportunities limited after joining Chelsea from Everton in January but he has been trusted by new Chelsea boss Sarri.

Barkley has already played more minutes in all competitions this season than in the whole of the last campaign and the midfielder admitted he had to bide his time after joining in January.

“I’ve had to bide my time,” Barkley added.

“I had a difficult time when I first came here with a few little niggles but that was expected after a long-term injury. I’ve stuck at it, worked hard, believed in myself and I’m showing what I’m capable of. I want to keep improving and scoring goals.

“I’ve got to back myself and show what I’m capable of and not go into my shell, which I know I do sometimes. I’ve got to show confidence in my ability which I’m showing right now.”

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