London - Manchester
United manager Jose Mourinho insisted his side's Premier League title
ambitions were still intact despite a 1-0 loss away to former club
Chelsea on Sunday.
Alvaro Morata's 55th-minute goal at Stamford Bridge was enough to
give reigning champions Chelsea victory and leave United eight points
behind in-form leaders Manchester City.
"We are second - not fifth, sixth or seventh or eighth," Mourinho
told Sky Sports after his third straight loss at Stamford Bridge since
he became United manager.
"We have several teams in a more difficult position than we have. Eight points is eight points.
"We went through a very difficult phase with important matches
against Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea without important players."
The Portuguese manager added: "The game was controlled by us and the
game was controlled by them. We had chances and they had chances and
with the first goal they were able to bring more people to defend.
"We tried to change the direction of our game, we created chances to equalise but we couldn't.
"We had chances. If I remember (Romelu) Lukaku shot in the first half
and in the last part of the game with the (Marcus) Rashford shot... We
had lots of chances to score goals," Mourinho said.
Victory saw Chelsea move to within nine points of top spot and eased
the pressure on the London club's Italian manager Antonio Conte
following a 3-0 loss away to Roma in the Champions League earlier this
"It’s an important victory," said Conte. "When you play against
Manchester United it’s always a massive game. This type of win is
important for our confidence. We showed great desire and passion to win
this kind of game.
“We can win or lose but our spirit must be this. Last season our
spirit was in every game - we started this season with a lot of
problems. We were up and down. This game showed if we want we can."
Chelsea defender David Luiz was not even on the bench for this match
and Conte was coy when asked if the Brazilian, in his second stint with
the Blues, still had future with the west London club.
"I don’t know," Conte replied. "He has to work really hard otherwise they are on the bench or in the stand.”
Meanwhile Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who said the Blues might
have won by an even bigger margin, was proud of the team's resilience.
"It is fantastic to defend well but this is a team full of fantastic
players and we need to take advantage of that," he said. "We played like
a big team, defended like a big team and we have to be proud."