Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas insists his side’s 3-1 defeat at Manchester United will not have a detrimental effect on their Premier League title chances but the Blues have been eased out to 6/1 with Victor Chandler to top the table.
Both managers admitted it was “a crazy game”, with Wayne Rooney slipping as he took a penalty, Ramires and Dimitar Berbatov failing to take gilt-edged chances and Fernando Torres missing an even more glaring chance after scoring a second-half goal.
Ultimately though, Chelsea were undone by conceding three goals in an opening period they otherwise controlled.
So, whilst Villas-Boas was naturally disappointed with the result, he does not feel it made any major statement about the destination of the championship.
“As I said before, nothing that happened here would mean anything in the Premier League table,” said Villas-Boas. “It is an unexpected league.
“Manchester City have the most amazing squad as well, but they didn’t win. Arsenal and Liverpool lost. All of the five contenders are there. Anything can happen. The most regular is United at the moment but we showed we are up to the level of the champions.”
Sir Alex Ferguson’s team would have been in for a very nervy ending had Torres applied the finish after skipping round David de Gea, who produced a fine display.
Instead, despite netting only his second goal since a £50million move from Liverpool last January, he missed.
Ferguson diplomatically labelled it “a bad miss”. Villas-Boas was even more sympathetic, adding: “You have to be fair, two of the best strikers in the world missed crazy chances. It happened to Fernando and Rooney. It is nothing dramatic. Sometimes the ball goes in. It didn’t fall our side.”
Nani scored the best goal of the game, cutting in from the wing before rifling home.