Drogba laments Chelsea slump
Striker Didier Drogba has warned Chelsea's title rivals to be ready for a backlash from the Blues as they prepare for three games that could define their season.
Chelsea have won just two games out of their last eight in all competitions and their 1-0 defeat to Marseille in the UEFA Champions League robbed them of the chance to finish with a 100 per cent record in Group F.
Brandao's 81st-minute winner left Chelsea still in the midst of a slump that threatens to end their hopes of retaining the Premier League title they won, along with the FA Cup, last season.
Coach Carlo Ancelotti cut a dejected, dismayed and defeated figure after last night's setback in the Stade Velodrome. The Italian had called for his players to rediscover their superlative early-season form, but his appeal fell on deaf ears.
Chelsea were devoid of any passion and desire and their implosion over the last few weeks has coincided with the axeing of assistant first-team coach Ray Wilkins. Ancelotti insists his departure has nothing to do with the loss of form but the body language of his players tends to suggest otherwise.
They now face Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Sunday, followed by Manchester United at home and Arsenal at the Emirates, and Drogba insists that victories over all three could turn their season around.
"It's not getting any easier because we have Tottenham next," said Drogba. "But not a lot of people expected us to lose to Marseille or expected Chelsea to have a difficult moment. Maybe everyone will expect us to lose on Sunday, but it could be different.
"I see Tottenham as genuine title rivals now. They are having a good season and there is no reason why they can't challenge. Chelsea used to beat them regularly but things change, that's life, but it is up to us to make it happen again.
"Obviously these three games are not coming at the right time for us, but maybe these matches will change the situation we're in now if we win them. It's not finished yet. It's a difficult moment for us, but this is the kind of thing that can happen to many teams and it's rare for Chelsea to have a period like this and I hope it's going to get better."
Chelsea created little against a weakened Marseille team, and apart from two rejected first-half penalty appeals they produced nothing to worry Marseille's defence or their English title rivals.
"This was another very disappointing defeat," added Drogba. "We conceded in the last minutes of the game. It is difficult to take. The good thing is we have still qualified and finished top of the group."