Chelsea may yet be in with a shout of retaining their EPL title after recent results went their way, with main rivals Manchester United and Arsenal failing to win while the Blues registered consecutive 3-1 wins against Midlands opposition.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men lie six points behind Manchester United with five games remaining; a gap which would close if they win at Old Trafford on May 8th and United lose at Arsenal. Chelsea now lead the faltering Gunners on goal difference.
The Italian supremo, who has expressed public uncertainty about his Blues future, believes his side are still in the title hunt, saying after the Birmingham victory that “the game is not finished.”
However, he will have to do without centre-back Alex and fast-improving midfielder Ramires for the next two games as both have succumbed to injury.
Meanwhile, £50m striker Fernando Torres’ scoreless run just keeps going.
Ancelotti said shortly before Chelsea lost 2-1 at Old Trafford to exit the Champions League that his future “is already decided. I have a contract.”
However, he changed his tune after the quarter-final defeat, saying: “I don’t know what my future is. At the end of the season, the club can decide if they want me to continue or if they want to change. This is not a problem for me.”
He was more bullish about Blues’ title prospects after their 3-1 home win over Birmingham, which followed a 3-1 away win at West Bromwich Albion last Saturday. He admitted that Manchester United have “a fantastic advantage.”
But, with Chelsea having won six of their last seven EPL games, he added: “The game is not finished. Our aim is to win every game.
“If we thought that one month ago we’d have a chance to come back to fight for the title, I think that everyone could have said we were crazy.”
Brazilian duo Alex and Ramires both missed the West Brom and Birmingham games and have also been ruled out of Blues’ home London derby with EPL strugglers West Ham United this Easter Saturday at 3pm.
Defender Branislav Ivanovic was a doubt for the West Ham game earlier this week but Ancelotti said that Serbian defender, who was substituted at West Brom with a “tight” groin muscle, “will be OK.”
Ancelotti was equally succinct about the misfiring Torres, who is now approaching 900 minutes without a goal. He simply said: “He will score.”