LONDON (AFP) – Carlo Ancelotti has rubbed salt into Manchester United’s wounds over their controversial defeat at Chelsea by suggesting Arsenal are just as big a threat to his side’s Premier League title ambitions.
Chelsea’s 1-0 win, sealed by John Terry’s late header, allowed Ancelotti’s men to open a five-point lead at the top and left his United counterpart, Sir Alex Ferguson, once again aggrieved over his side’s treatment at the hands of a referee.
While Ferguson admitted his side now face a tough task in attempting to close the gap on a Chelsea squad that is becoming as rich in confidence as it is in experience, Ancelotti was quick to underline the unexpected vibrancy of Arsenal’s challenge as a reminder of the dangers of complacency.
“If Arsenal win their game in hand, they will be within two points of us,” he said when asked to speculate on whether the title race was now a two-horse affair.
“I think also Arsenal is doing very well.
“A five-point lead is important, but at the same time, not so important. We have 30 points in 12 matches but we know the season is very long. We have to stay focused.”
Chelsea fans’ optimism that Ancelotti could emulate Jose Mourinho in wresting the Premier League trophy away from Old Trafford will have been encouraged by the fact that, three months into his first season in England, the Italian has now master-minded wins over both United and Liverpool.
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