Didier Drogba reckons Chelsea now have the mental edge over their rivals for the Barclays Premier League title.
The Blues restored their advantage over Manchester United to five points with an impressive 3-0 win at Arsenal, which leaves the Gunners some 11 points off the pace, albeit having played a match less.
Drogba — whose brace at Emirates Stadium continued his fine form against Arsene Wenger's side — believes victories over all three of their traditional rivals this season, without conceding, shows Carlo Ancelotti's men have the making of champions.
“Arsenal played their game, but we were stronger than them,” said the Ivory Coast international, who now has 10 goals in 11 games against the Gunners.
“Every time we had the chance to score we did. We took our chances. Physically we defended well and were really strong, mentally as well.
“I don't know about Arsenal, but it is our strength to perform when it matters. Even against Manchester United, when the game was really difficult, we won. We know how to go through difficult periods when the game is hard. That is why when we get a chance we know how important it is to score.”
Drogba, 31, knows full well the battle for the championship is not yet won. However, looking down on the rest of the chasing pack rather than playing catch-up makes a big difference.
“The lead is not enough, but at the same time it's a good gap. We have to keep winning our games,” said Drogba, one of several Chelsea players who will be away at the African Nations Cup during January. “When you are top of the league, it is good — the others have to chase us.”