Chelsea 2 Man City 1: Blues are back in the title race – Villas-Boas
AndrÃ© Villas-Boas believes Chelsea have edged themselves back into the title race with their 2-1 defeat of Manchester City
AndrÃ© Villas-Boas watched Chelsea come from behind to become the first team to beat Manchester City this season – and then declared his side’s title challenge is back on track.
Raul Meireles cancelled out Mario Balotelli’s second-minute opener when he turned home Daniel Sturridge’s cross 10 minutes before half-time.
City left-back Gael Clichy was shown a second yellow card for clumsily bringing down Ramires after the break, before substitute Frank Lampard smashed home a penalty eight minutes from time after Joleon Lescott blocked Sturridge’s shot with his arms.
The 2-1 win hoists Chelsea up into third place, seven points behind Roberto Mancini’s City – and Villas-Boas believes the result has blown the title race wide open.
“Our objective was to shorten the distance to the leaders and we managed to do exactly that,” he told Sky Sports. “We don’t take an extra flavour from being the first team to beat them.
“We needed to do our job to get our Premier League challenge back on track and I think it’s pretty much alive now.
“The fact that the other teams won at the weekend – all of us are chasing now and putting pressure on Manchester City. There are lot teams still competing in this league and the December fixtures will be decisive.”
Villas-Boas praised his players for their patient approach to the game. “We had to keep calm,” he continued. “We had to keep our patience and I think the players did brilliantly.
“They adapted to the circumstances and they knew that a Man City side with 10 men and a negative result are still always a threat.
“We were very patient to try and get the goal to give us the win. My players deserve this win.”
The Chelsea boss also rubbished a recent story in a national newspaper that claimed the Portuguese manager had asked his players to involve him in goal celebrations.
“It’s a false story,” he added. “I haven’t said anything like that – it’s ridiculous. The Sun in two weeks [has been] spot on with two false stories. I already told them that if they paid an informant they should get their money back.
“I told the players that when we score a goal the bench lives through the same emotions. We celebrate with them with the same desire.
“It’s a false story and it’s a pity because I will never be an individual [who would] say something as extraordinary as that.”