Champions close gap with City win

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Carlo Ancelotti last night challenged his Chelsea players to complete one of the great title comebacks in Barclays Premier League history after watching them keep their faint hopes of retaining their crown by beating Manchester City.

The Champions Left It Late Before Sealing A 2-0 Win At Stamford Bridge Which Lifted Them Above Their Opponents Into Third Place And Moved Them Back Within Nine Points Of Manchester United With A Game In Hand.

Anything Other Than A Victory Almost Certainly Would Have Killed Off Ancelotti’s Men But, With Their Next Five League Games Coming Against Sides In The Lower Reaches Of The Table, They Now Have An Ideal Opportunity To Pounce On Further United Slip-ups During The Next Month.

“We Have Nine Games To Play And We Have To Do Our Best,” Said Ancelotti. “We Have To Try To Win Every Game. Manchester United Won Yesterday So The Gap’s The Same.”

For 77 Minutes Yesterday, Chelsea Were In Real Danger Of Dropping Out Of The Title Race As They Struggled To Break Down A Stubborn City Side.

But David Luiz Capped Another Virtuoso Display By Earning And Scoring From A Didier Drogba Free-kick Before Fellow Brazil Star And Former Benfica Team-mate Ramires Wrapped Up The Points.

Liverpool Manager Kenny Dalglish Will Be Happy To Leave His Contract Talks Until The Time Is Right After Guiding The Club To Another Barclays Premier League Victory.

The Reds Took Their Tally Under The Scot To 20 Points From 10 League Games With A 2-0 Win At Sunderland Which Left Them Four Points Adrift Of Fifth-placed Tottenham, Who Have A Game In Hand.

They Did So Amid Much Speculation Over Dalglish’s Future, But He Is Remaining Relaxed As He Plots The Way Forward On The Pitch.

The Case For Dalglish To Be Handed The Job On A Permanent Basis Was Only Strengthened At The Stadium Of Light As His Side Banked Another Three Points.

Little Went Right For Sunderland With Sulley Muntari And Kieran Richardson Limping Off Before The Game Was 23 Minutes Old.

However, Things Were To Get Much, Much Worse Before Long As John Mensah Tripped Spearing And Referee Kevin Friend Blew.

Mensah, Who Would Later Be Dismissed For A Professional Foul On Luis Suarez, Was Booked Before Dirk Kuyt Calmly Dispatched The Penalty To Give His Side A 33rd-minute Lead.

Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, Who Had Earlier Pulled Off A Good Save To Deny Kuyt, Then Denied Suarez And Spearing Either Side Of Half-time, But The Uruguay International Secured Victory With A Powerfully-struck Second 13 Minutes From Time.