Monday, 30 December 2013

Mourinho: Manchester City still title favourites

Mourinho: Manchester City still title favourites

Mourinho: Manchester City still title favourites

The Portuguese believes Manuel Pellegrini's side have the edge in the battle for the Premier League title

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho feels Manchester City are still favourites for the Premier League title despite his side's win over Liverpool.

Mourinho saw his team overcome Martin Skrtel's third-minute opener at Stamford Bridge, as Eden Hazard's curling strike and Samuel Eto'o's finish from six yards secured all three points with a 2-1 victory.

Chelsea have now recorded four consecutive home victories in the Premier League and head into 2014 just two points adrift of leaders Arsenal in third place, but Mourinho believes second-placed City remain the team to beat.

"I keep saying there is a big difference between Manchester City and the other teams," he told reporters. "It's not just about quality, other teams have quality, us too. But [it is about] maturity, the number of players, the group of strikers, physicality, experience.

"They [City] are the favourites, for us, for Arsenal, for Liverpool, to be around [the top] is a good achievement. In our case it's important people learn how to play these matches [against the top sides]."

Mourinho felt his side were good value for their victory on Sunday and was particularly happy with the way they bounced back from an early setback.

He added: "I think we deserved to win because they did nothing to score the first goal, it was circumstantial. After that our reaction in the first half was a fantastic reaction. We scored, we could have scored before.

"In the second half we defended well, they hit the post with [Mamadou] Sakho, we had some counter-attack situations where we could have killed the game. We didn't and until the last minute it was hard, but we deserved [to win]."

Mourinho also confirmed midfielder Frank Lampard is set for a spell on the sidelines with a muscular injury, but is hopeful the lateral ligament issue picked up by Branislav Ivanovic is not serious. ------------

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