Carlo Ancelotti insists Chelsea's mid-season blip has nothing to do with comments from Arsene Wenger, who he has labelled a "magician" after the Frenchman predicted the Barclays Premier League leaders would drop points.
Chelsea remain at the summit at the start of 2010 but have only taken nine points from 18 since they swept aside Arsenal 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium.
"He is a good magician if he said that after that game," Ancelotti said. "There is not an unbeatable team," said the Italian. "We had some problems in December and didn't win important games, drawing against Everton, Birmingham and West Ham, but it's normal to have these moments."
He added: "Some teams had bad moments before and we had that period that wasn't so good.
"But we still stayed at the top of the list so we've done better than the other teams over the first six months.
"I don't know what happens in the future. Arsenal, Manchester United will be difficult opponents. But, until now, Chelsea are in first place in the Premiership and we deserve to have stayed at the top of the list."
Ancelotti is confident Chelsea's slump is over and they will start 2010 in a positive manner against Watford in the FA Cup on Sunday, then consolidate their lead at the top of the table when they face Hull after that.
"Manchester United and Arsenal are very close to us," Ancelotti said. "It's a very competitive championship and will be until the end of the season.
"But I think the problems are over now for Chelsea."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms