CARLO ANCELOTTI says beating leaders Man United is unlikely to have brought Chelsea back into contention for the title – but will have done their confidence the world of good.
The gap is 12 points and even with a game in hand on Sir Alex Ferguson's team and a return fixture to come at Old Trafford, the Blues boss won't be dreaming of a dramatic comeback.
“United are still too far ahead, but this victory is important for us and our confidence,” Ancelotti said.
“We are not able to arrive at the top at this moment. Manchester United are a very strong team and it's difficult for them to lose points in the next games.
"I think we have to stay in focus for our games and not think about Man United. This is our aim for the future.
“I cannot believe that we are 12 points behind them but we have to be honest. This is the table and we have to respect this. Man United have played with more continuity compared to us.”
Ancelotti had words of praise for both his big January signing, even though it was the relatively cheaper defensive import, David Luiz, who found the net rather than £50m man Fernando Torres.
“Luiz's performance was very good,” said the Italian. “I think it confirmed the good performance he made against Fulham [on his debut].
“He scored a very important goal I think was the key to the game and he's a very good player.
“Torres didn't score, but I don't ask my strikers to score. I ask them to play for the team and Torres did a very well and I have to look for different things in his performance.
“He played well, he worked hard for the team. He tried to put pressure on the defenders, he moved well in front working hard and it's enough for me.
“I think you have to ask him and not me if not scoring is affecting him but I think it doesn't affect him because I don't ask him to score.”
The delighted Blues boss said of his team: “We showed very good spirit because it was not easy to come back in the game because Man United are fantastic in counter-attack. But we had good balance in the second half, putting more pressure in front and using our strength in the middle of the pitch.
“United showed fantastic quality in the first half. We started well but in the middle of the first half we had difficulty to close their play.
T”he second half, it was really better because we put more pressure and were able to play with more intensity compared to the first half and in the end we won a very difficult game.”