Apr 21, 2011

Ancelotti defiant on title hopes

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Ancelotti refuses to give up on title

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti insists his side will not give up hope of retaining the title despite trailing leaders Manchester United by 11 points.

The reigning Premier League champions could only draw 1-1 away against Stoke on Saturday, almost certainly ending their already slim hopes.

But Ancelotti said: "We have to continue to do our best.

"The gap [to United] was not easy before and now it is more difficult but we have to think game by game."

Chelsea fell behind to an early Jonathan Walters strike and despite drawing level and dominating the first half, the hosts were good value for their point.

Ancelotti's side still have one game in hand on Man Utd and have to visit Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men must also face second-placed Arsenal but Ancelotti knows his side are rank outsiders in the title race.

"We didn't think about this before this game and we don't have to think about it after this game," Ancelotti said.

"The gap is more open now but we have to play our game. It is not about Manchester United.

"I think it is very difficult - we said that before the game.

"We did our best. It was a good result because Stoke had opportunities.

"They could have won, we could have won. It was exciting.

"It was a really tough game. Both teams could have won. We had a good reaction after we conceded a goal and the game was in balance.

"We are not so happy for the result but it was the right one for this game."

Stoke boss Tony Pulis felt his side gave Chelsea too much respect in the first half but was delighted with their second-half efforts.

Pulis impressed as Stoke 'match' Chelsea

"It was a great start and Jon scored a great goal," Pulis said. "But we sat back and gave them the impetus and in the last 20 minutes of the first half they showed what a great team they are.

"We had too many players after we scored sitting back and watching them pass it around.

"In the second half we pushed on to them with better quality balls up to Kenwyne Jones and got more bodies up there and it made for an entertaining game.

"We had the chances to win it but Chelsea are a great side with great players and you have to give them credit.

"They have a massive Champions League game against Manchester United on Wednesday and I thought their attitude was first class."



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