Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Ancelotti: Title race is still on

Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti is refusing to obsess over the form of Manchester United as he tries to figure out a way of hauling Chelsea back into the Barclays Premier League title race.

The Blues finally stop the rot that had set in over the previous two months by grinding out a 1-0 win over Bolton at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night. Having tossed away a five-point lead to slump to fifth in the table, Chelsea have climbed back up to fourth and to within four points of United, who had been held to a 1-1 draw at Birmingham.

"We don't have to look at United," Ancelotti said. "This is a very difficult championship because every game can have a difficulty. It's a Premier League with a lot of balance, so nothing is decided now."

Wednesday night's win eased the pressure on Ancelotti, who had received the backing of billionaire owner Roman Abramovich following Monday's limp defeat at Arsenal.

Ancelotti is well aware Abramovich's patience is not without limit and admits recent weeks have taken their toll.

"It's a hard period. That's normal," he said.

"It was a very difficult period. We have to keep going now. We have to maintain good focus on our training and on our games."

Rather than sack Ancelotti, Abramovich may now decide to back him in the January transfer window.

A defender is the Chelsea boss' number one target should the knee injury that has sidelined Alex continue to rule the Brazilian out next month.

Bolton's Gary Cahill is rumoured to be top of the list while reports in Portugal have claimed the Blues have had a £17million bid for Benfica's David Luiz knocked back.

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