Belfast Telegraph

Chelsea back in title race, says Lampard

There have been a few false dawns already as Chelsea have tried to emerge from the bad run that has blighted them since November but Frank Lampard said on Tuesday that the club's win over Manchester United proved that they had “turned the corner” and were now genuine title contenders.

Chelsea play Blackpool on Monday night by which time they could be back in fifth place if Spurs beat Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.

The gap to Manchester United could also be back to 15 points by then but Lampard said that Chelsea had not given up hope of defending their title and could still play more than just a spoiling role in the title race when they go to Old Trafford on May 7.

The England midfielder said it was “not a given” that Arsenal would carry on winning and would therefore be United's only challenger for the title.

“If we keep winning all our games we're going to be in with a right shout,” he said.

“It (the win over United) was important. That was a little bit of the old Chelsea in there. You could see the power in the team.

“The commitment and the strength was there.

“We deserved to win, definitely. Big games are the ones you need to win.

“Certainly we've not been at our best lately so it was good for the crowd to see a good performance with some quality and some spirit.

“We beat the best team in the league so far.

“There is no one thing that came together. But we got tight and showed commitment.”

Striker Fernando Torres, still adjusting to life at Stamford Bridge, said: “It's important to understand the style of football your team is playing, how you are involved in the system and everything.

“This always takes some time.”

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