Chelsea drop to third favourites for title

Carlo Ancelotti admitted Chelsea cannot afford another slip-up if they want to stay in the title race.

Chelsea dropped to the bookies' third-favourites behind both leaders Manchester United and Arsenal after a 1-1 draw at Blackburn.

Victory over Portsmouth on Wednesday will see Chelsea pull back to within a point of United but Ancelotti admitted the result at Blackburn was disappointing.

"It's important to win on Wednesday," said the Chelsea manager.

"We have less probability to win this title but we want to give it our best.

"We need to work together, stay compact and the next game against Portsmouth is very important, we can stay close to Manchester United.

"I don't know how many points we need to win the title but I know we have to win on Wednesday and then prepare game by game."

Chelsea had gone in front against Blackburn through Didier Drogba's 22nd league goal of the season but let the lead slip and were punished by El-Hadji Diouf's header late in the second half.

Chelsea have dropped out of the top two for the first time since the second weekend of the season and are now four points behind Manchester United and two behind Arsenal, though with a game in hand.

Ancelotti added: "It will be more difficult now to win the title but it's not impossible.

"We are disappointed because I think we lost two points here, and important points.

"We had prepared well for the game, we had tried to win to cancel out the game against Inter and for one hour we did well.

"It's not an easy moment for us and we have to maintain our confidence and our composure.

"Manchester United are now top of the league and we have to run more and do better and leave this behind us as soon as possible."

Chelsea are likely to be without Branislav Ivanovic against Portsmouth after he suffered a knee injury but keeper Petr Cech and Michael Ballack should be available.

Ancelotti admitted his players had "lost composure" against a rugged Blackburn side whose determination was summed up by an awesome league debut by central defender Phil Jones, who only turned 18 last month.

Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce said: "It was a great performance by a young man who is looking like he has a bright future.

"As big a team as Chelsea are we felt it was time to give him the chance.

"It's nice to see a player that excites you like that - especially when he's a centre-half like I was.

"We have recommended him to the England under-19s and said he should be playing at that level but there is still a long way to go for him to be a regular Premier League centre-half."

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine