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Jan 30, 2010

Chelsea win crucial in title tussle, says Lampard

Chelsea captain John Terry's winner in the Premier League clash at Burnley was crucial in the title race, according to Frank Lampard.

• Burnley 1-2 Chelsea
• Wilkins mounts Terry defence
• Terry embroiled in scandal
• Premier League Gallery

Steven Fletcher cancelled out Nicolas Anelka's opener before England captain Terry, who this weekend is facing tumultuous allegations in his private life, headed in an 83rd-minute goal for a 2-1 win.

Lampard told ESPN: "We knew it was a very difficult place to come. I think we did pretty well and deserved to win the game. At this stage, with a big game coming up tomorrow (Arsenal v Manchester United), it was important that we won and we did it.''

The result put the Blues four points clear ahead of the Emirates Stadium clash between their nearest rivals and Lampard hopes they can carry the momentum forward.

"It's a very important stage of the season, we're on good form at the minute and it's important we keep the run going,'' he added. "Today we showed a bit of grit to come back when they pulled level.

"We were creating chances and we can enjoy tomorrow and keep going. It's down to us to keep winning and hope they slip up. We just want to keep winning.''

Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti echoed Lampard's comments. "It was a very difficult game,'' said the Italian. "I felt we had a lot of chances and we won an important game.''

Ancelotti praised the character of Terry, who did not celebrate his goal. The manager added: "He's a fantastic player. Every game he plays very well. "He's an important player for us. All of Chelsea support him.''

Ancelotti added in his post-match press conference: "There is no discussion about this (the captaincy). I don't know why you ask me this. The players will never lose their trust in him.

"It was a good moment for Terry on the pitch today. But he also played well against Birmingham in midweek. I did not speak with him. It wasn't necessary because he did well in training yesterday. It was not in my mind he wouldn't play.

"I do not want to talk about his personal life. He is doing his job very well, every day, every training session. For this (reason) I am not worried.''

Ancelotti, however, refused to discuss whether Terry should remain skipper of the national team. "I am manager of Chelsea and that is my focus, not England '' he said.

Ancelotti insists that Terry is helping improve the club's profile, not tarnishing it. He said: "The professionalism of John Terry improves the image of the club. I am a manager and only want to speak about his work. He is a fantastic professional. All the club, the players, management and staff are supporting him and his family at this time.''

Burnley boss Brian Laws rued his side leaking the late goal. "We're disappointed really because particularly in the second half we got back in the game,'' Laws said. "I think we showed too much respect to Chelsea in the first half, but second half we were terrific.

"The goalkeeper's not had a lot to do, so I thought we defended very well and I'm disappointed not to get a point. Clarke Carlisle's a little disappointed because he gave John Terry a free header.''

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