Carlo Ancelotti has warned Manchester United that the destiny of the Premier League is in Chelsea's hands after the Blues went back to the top of the table with a 2-0 win over Liverpool.
Ancelotti's team took advantage of United's 2-2 draw against Sunderland by over-powering the Reds at Stamford Bridge thanks to second half goals from Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda. Chelsea are two points clear of second placed United and six points ahead of Liverpool, leaving the title momentum firmly with the west Londoners going into the international break.
Ancelotti admitted he was surprised to see United drop points at Old Trafford and he is convinced Chelsea can win the title if they remain focused on their own game. "Their result was a surprise for sure but we want to stay concentrated on our own season," Ancelotti said.
"This season depends only on us. We're top of the table and we prepare for the next game with concentration and determination. It was three points against a very good team and I'm happy. Our aim is to lose only one game. We've lost that. I'm satisfied, for sure, when we win. But also when we play well."
Despite a third defeat in just eight league games this season, Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is refusing to write off his side's title hopes. "This year the top sides will lose games but you have to try to improve and we will try to win against Sunderland next," he said.
"When the teams at the top of the table drop points and you win, it is better, but we have to keep winning games and stay as strong as possible and see what happens. It is my opinion you will see top sides losing more games this season. It is good for the Premier League."
Elsewhere on Sunday, Arsenal underlined their determination to end the club's four-year wait for silverware with an eye-catching 6-2 demolition of Blackburn at the Emirates Stadium. Arsene Wenger's side remain six points behind Chelsea but they have a game in hand and, with Cesc Fabregas in superb form, the Gunners boss sees no reason why they shouldn't make a strong title challenge.
"There is a real togetherness about the team. They are enjoying themselves and playing some wonderful football. I think we are strong," Wenger said after goals from Thomas Vermaelen, Robin van Persie, Andrey Arshavin, Fabregas, Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner destroyed Rovers.
Across London, West Ham substitute Junior Stanislas scored an injury-time equaliser to rescue a 2-2 draw against ten-man Fulham, who had South African midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi sent off on his first start. At Goodison Park, Everton were held to 1-1 draw against Stoke as Toffees midfielder Leon Osman cancelled out Robert Huth's opener for the visitors.
On Saturday, Manchester United needed a stoppage time own goal from Anton Ferdinand to salvage a 2-2 draw with the Sunderland. Darren Bent had given Sunderland the lead before Dimitar Berbatov equalised.
Kenwyne Jones looked to have won it for Sunderland when he punished goalkeeper Ben Foster's mistake, but Kieran Richardson was sent off in the closing moments and then Ferdinand deflected Patrice Evra's shot into his own net.
Tottenham were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw at Bolton, Burnley defeated Birmingham 2-1 to maintain their unbeaten record at Turf Moor, while struggling Hull beat Wigan 2-1. At Wolverhampton, a first half goal from Hassan Yebda gave bottom team Portsmouth a 1-0 win and ended their seven-match losing run.