Chelsea can win title - Ancelotti

Last updated : 02 January 2011 By BBC Sport

Manager Carlo Ancelotti insists Chelsea can still win the title, despite a 3-3 draw with Aston Villa which leaves the Blues six points off the pace.Chelsea fought back from 2-1 down to go 3-2 up in the last minute, only for Ciaran Clark to level right at the end.

"It's not over because we are improving and I think we can still have a say on the season," said Ancelotti.

"There is a little gap from the top but it is a long season and we can recover. Everything is open at the moment."

Chelsea have won only once in their last eight league games and they struggled for long spells as Villa, who started the day only a point above the drop zone, produced an accomplished display.

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The Blues went ahead early on through a disputed Frank Lampard penalty, only to fall 2-1 behind when Ashley Young replied from the spot and then Emile Heskey headed in for Villa.

Chelsea left it late to turn it around as Didier Drogba fired in six minutes from time and then in the last minute John Terry slotted in for what looked like the winner, only for Clark to head home unmarked in stoppage time.

The result leaves Ancelotti's side fifth in the division and six points behind Manchester United and Manchester City, with United having a game in hand on Chelsea.

But Ancelotti added: "Firstly, United have to win their game in hand. Obviously we must beat them when we play at Stamford Bridge, and maybe then we can have a bigger say."

The Italian admitted Villa were the better team before the break, but said he was delighted with their reaction in the second half.

"I think that we had a fantastic reaction second half, we played very well, with a lot of energy, with a good spirit," he explained. "And when we thought that the game was won, we lost two points at the last situation.

"For this reason, I'm disappointed because at this moment, when we needed to win, it was our fault because I think we were not able to maintain concentration until the end.

"I'm disappointed because we worked very hard in the second half to come back into the game when 2-1 down. We did a fantastic job, we came back and scored to make it 3-2 and everyone thought the game was finished but a mistake with the last ball of the game cost us."

Ancelotti denied his players had paid for over-celebrating, adding: "I think that it was not an over-celebration. It was a good reaction after the goal.

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"The last goal, yes, it was a mistake, because we conceded an easy cross and we didn't mark in the box."

Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier, who was under tremendous pressure going into the game after they had lost five of their previous six, was full of praise for his players.

"We showed character, we showed bravery, we didn't bottle it, we played," he said. "At 2-1, we knew that Chelsea would throw everything at us to equalise and, in fairness, they did.

"I would've been extremely disappointed if we didn't get anything from this game, but really for the players because I thought that, in fairness, they had done enough to at least get a draw."

Houllier also poured scorn on reports of dressing-room unrest that have surfaced in the media after their

capitulation in the 4-0 defeat at Manchester City on Tuesday.

"I've read so many things that really stun me, that are nothing to do with the truth," he said. "Sometimes a player who is not playing calls his agent and his agent calls the press.

"You can't produce a game like that and get a result and particularly react like that if you don't have some togetherness. Probably we gave in too early at Manchester City, but that's in the past."

Source: BBC Sport

Source: BBC Sport