Bounc­ing Cech is up for a ti­tle tilt

Midweek Sport - - TV GUIDE - By SEAN RAFTER

PETR CECH has given Manch­ester City a chill­ing warn­ing by in­sist­ing: “The Premier League ti­tle race is wide open.”

Goal­keeper Cech played his part in Chelsea’s win against City on Mon­day to chop the gap be­tween the sides to just seven points.

The pres­sure is now on Roberto Mancini’s men. And the re­sult has also given An­dre Vil­las-boas’ squad the lift they needed af­ter go­ing through a dodgy patch last month.

It looked like Manch­ester would be bat­tling out for the ti­tle this sea­son – but Chelsea are de­ter­mined to keep pace with lead­ers City and cham­pi­ons United.

Cech said: “We’ve cut the gap on City down to seven points, so we are back in the ti­tle race.

“We are five points be­hind United and I think that we have put some pres­sure on both Manch­ester clubs.

“It was an ex­tremely im­por­tant match for us and we needed to win it.

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“Had we lost we would have been 13 points be­hind City and that would have been too much. Seven points looks a lot dif­fer­ent to 13.

“Let’s wait and see how a first de­feat of the sea­son im­pacts on them.”

Cech is hop­ing Chelsea can con­tinue their re­cent form and build on three wins in a row.

“The most im­por­tant thing is that we did not break down af­ter go­ing be­hind against City,” he said. “That will help us psy­cho­log­i­cally.”

Mid­fielder Juan Mata in­sists the win shows the squad are be­hind Vil­las-boas – de­spite fears the Por­tuguese coach had lost con­trol of the dress­ing room.

Mata said: “The team have shown in the worst mo­ments we are united be­hind the man­ager.

“Now that we’re in a run of re­sults where things are more pos­i­tive, every­thing is eas­ier, but we have shown we are to­gether with the man­ager – like a fam­ily.

“We haven’t won any­thing just by beat­ing these teams.

“But to turn around the game against the league lead­ers – a team who had not lost a game – gives us a lot of be­lief.”

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