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Bakayoko: Focusing on the result

Tomorrow's derby against Arsenal holds no fears for Tiemoue Bakayoko, having already experienced victory in his first capital clash.

The Frenchman is in his debut season in English football, but he is well versed in the various rivalries that come with playing for a London club and the heightened importance supporters place on certain fixtures, especially when facing a neighbour who also has ambitions of lifting silverware this season.

Given that his first competitive appearance for Chelsea came in a London derby victory, when we beat Tottenham 2-1 at Wembley last month, Bakayoko is not daunted by the prospect of taking on the Gunners this weekend.

'I think that actually in terms of rivalries that Chelsea have, the one with Tottenham is perhaps even bigger than Arsenal,' said the 23-year-old. 'Having already played that match, being able to win that match, being able to bring so much happiness to our fans was really a wonderful achievement for the team.

'Now we're looking forward to the match against Arsenal, which perhaps carries less of that rivalry, but it is nevertheless incredibly important and it's absolutely vital that we work hard to achieve the right result on the pitch.'

Bakayoko's introduction to life at Stamford Bridge has also left him in no doubt as to how much these matches against London rivals mean to the Chelsea supporters.

'These sorts of matches above all are really important to the fans, and if there's a lot of importance that is riding on this game then it probably comes from the people associated with the club and the fans and what it means for them living in London.

'But in terms of us players, we'll be focusing on the game. We've already made a good start to the season and we're at home as well so it's not a match that we can afford to lose and our objective remains based just on what happens on the field of play.'

As befitting an all-action midfielder like our number 14, Bakayoko also insists his goals for the season are purely focused on success with the team, and feels a triumph in the Premier League with Chelsea in his first campaign would be an even bigger achievement than the French title he won with Monaco in 2016/17.

'I think the most important thing in football is to remember your individual challenges come through the team's goals and the challenges facing the team,' explained the French international. 'So last year, for example, I won the title with Monaco and this year my main objective is to win the title with Chelsea.

'I really think that if we manage to defend the Premier League title that will be an incredible achievement and over and above even what I achieved at Monaco, because of the difficulty of the league here. It's all about the team and I'm very dedicated now to achieving the goals we have set ourselves.'