Mar 17, 2015

    Mourinho cautious despite 6-point lead


    JOSE Mourinho insists there is no chance of complacency at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea opened up a six-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

    Mourinho's side extended their advantage over second-placed Manchester City after a 1-1 home draw with Southampton on Sunday, and have still played a game less than the chasing pack.

    With just nine games remaining, the English title appears destined for the Bridge unless Chelsea suffer a dramatic collapse.

    But while Blues boss Mourinho claims he would have taken his side's current standing at the start of the season, he maintains that the title race is far from over.

    "I keep saying our situation is much better than if it was the start of the season. But it's not easy. Every match is difficult," Mourinho said.

    "Remember our two matches against Southampton. In one game, there was one penalty that is not a penalty; in another game, a penalty that was not given.

    "So you are speaking about six points and getting two. So the danger is always there. But I keep saying, we are there.

    "If someone had told me in August that, at the end of March, we'd be six points in front with a match in hand, I'd have signed for that immediately.

    "We are not complacent. It is something I cannot accuse my players of in every game, of being complacent. I'm not afraid of that."

    Manchester City's challenge was dented by the shock defeat at struggling Burnley on Saturday, and Manuel Pellegrini's side now lie just one point ahead of Arsenal in third.

    Mourinho accepts that Arsene Wenger's side are contenders but questioned whether the Gunners are the side with momentum, given their recent Champions League defeat by Monaco.

    "Of course Arsenal are contenders. Seven points behind Chelsea, and one less match to play than Chelsea," he said.

    "I keep thinking our opposition is better than them. Both teams are in the race but who has the momentum?"

    Diego Costa gave Chelsea the lead against Southampton, before a contentious penalty from Dusan Tadic brought Ronald Koeman's side level.

    Chelsea's performance improved in the second half but Mourinho admitted to mixed feelings about his side's display.

    "There are two perspectives, and I have both with me. I'm not happy with the result, but I am with the six-point lead," he said.

    "I'm not jumping with happiness and not crying in disappointment. I have both these perspectives."