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Monday 18 December 2017

Mourinho: 'Seven-point lead means nothing'

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho insists Chelsea's seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League means nothing.

Branislav Ivanovic's superb winner at Aston Villa fired Chelsea further clear of Manchester City in the race for the title.

City's 1-1 draw with Hull allowed Mourinho's side to strengthen their grip with a 2-1 win at Villa Park.

But the Stamford Bridge chief refused to get carried away and warned their lead could quickly disappear.

He said: "In another country I would say it's fantastic, in this country I would say it's nothing. Every game is difficult, anything can happen. It's very, very difficult.

"Seven points means seven points, we have 14 matches to go. We are speaking about 42 points to play for and in 42 we have a lead of seven. I think it's nothing."

City's failure to beat Hull did not surprise Mourinho and he told Chelsea to focus on themselves.

He said: "I'm surprised by nothing. In this country every team can take points so I am not surprised. I didn't care about it. Somebody told me after the game and that was it. Before the game I was not worried and during the game and I didn't imagine the result.

"When you are top of the league you don't need other teams to lose points. If they lose, good, but if they don't it's not a problem. We have to focus on ourselves. If we win the next game we have a seven-point lead with 13 matches to go. Let's try to go step by step."

Eden Hazard's opener was cancelled out by Jores Okore's first strike for Villa, ending their 11-hour league goal drought. It was Villa's first league goal since December 20, but defeat left them two places above the bottom three.

Paul Lambert felt Villa were unlucky against the leaders, but they have now won just twice in their last 20 top-flight games. "There's a lot of good things to come out of the game for us, we're disappointed to lose. I didn't think we deserved to lose," said Lambert, after his 100th Premier League game in charge.

"Football-wise we played well. I thought the front three were excellent. The performance was very good."

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