Football

Mourinho: It is Chelsea’s title to lose

United boss says Conte's men won't drop many points because of the Chelsea philosophy

Chelsea under Antonio Conte reminds Jose Mourinho of his time at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues were almost unbeatable on their home turf under the Portuguese in his first spell from 2004 to 2007, although his second stint was a mixed bag - he won the Premiership title in the 2014/2015 season before he was sensationally sacked last December.

Now manager of Manchester United, Mourinho is impressed with how Conte has adapted to life in England, leading the Blues to the top of the table with an 11-match winning streak.

The 53-year-old Mourinho said the way Conte has Chelsea playing at present and the style in which they close out games, means they won't drop many points from now until May.

In an interview with Sky Sports News HQ, Mourinho said: "It's very difficult, you have to be honest and say that.

"Not just the difference in points, but also the Chelsea philosophy of play.

"They score one goal and they win, they defend a lot, they defend well, they are winning and, in the last 20 minutes, they bring defenders in, they don't care what people say, what people think, they just want to win.

"And, because of that, I don't see them losing many points.

"It is mathematically possible (for United to win the league), but it is very difficult for us. The difference is considerable."

United, unbeaten in their last eight league games since being thrashed 4-0 at Stamford Bridge in October, are sixth with 30 points after 17 matches.

They are 13 points behind leaders Chelsea, who are six clear of second-placed Liverpool.

OPTIMISTIC ABOUT TITLE

United winger Jesse Lingard remains optimistic about the Red Devils' title chances and believes they have every chance of challenging for top honours if they can maintain their promising form.

"If the lads stick together and win the games we should be winning, then I do not see why we cannot be in a good position in May and challenging for the title," the 24-year-old Englishman told the club's official website.

"We have found our rhythm now. A lot of players are playing their part and helping us win games. The defence has been very good, particularly over the last three or four games.

"We need to keep that going over the Christmas period and, if we can do that, it will put us in a good place in January." - WIRE SERVICES

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