Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has refused to rule Manchester United out of the title race, despite the champions dropping 12 points behind Arsenal.
Mourinho said on Tuesday that David Moyes would have known one more slip could make it very difficult to challenge but, while United suffered another setback against Everton, Mourinho insists they are the one side who can overcome due to their history.
He said: “If it’s another club, probably I would tell you it’s impossible now, but with Man United I don’t say that, because of the potential of the team, what the club represents, the culture of the club, is not a club in panic, is not a club where if you the end of the world is arriving.
“They are calm, they go the same way, they support the manager, nobody touches the manager, they have a project -- if they don’t win this season, they think they will next season, so it’s a very, very strange situation.
“I think it’s an example situation for many others, and because of that I think they are still a contender. They will stick together, they will try to fight four, five consecutive matches -- 12, 15 points in a row -- wait for matches between City-Arsenal, Arsenal-Chelsea, Liverpool-Tottenham. They will wait for these matches where other people will for sure lose points.”
Mourinho also had praise for Arsenal, but warned the season is far from over as Chelsea are seeking to radically improve the point tallies of recent campaigns.
“We want to be there, we want to be close, we want to fight until the last moment, we want to improve, we want to win the next match and, hopefully by the end of the season, instead of being 25 points or 14 points like it happens in last two seasons, hopefully we are there, champions or not, but hopefully there fighting,” he said.
“If Arsenal are there, it’s because they make less mistakes. If they are there, it’s because they deserve to be there. But the championship doesn’t finish end of the year, [it] finishes end of May, so let’s see what happens.”