Frank Lampard believes Chelsea can catch runaway Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Roberto Mancini's side are five points clear of Manchester United in second place, while Chelsea are nine points adrift of City, behind surprise package Newcastle.

Chelsea, though, have been in a position like this before - most notably last season when Carlo Ancelotti's Blues came agonisingly close to overhauling United.

The west London club were 15 points behind the Red Devils at one stage but, after a sustained period of good form, came within a whisker of retaining the title.

And, although Chelsea fell just before the finish in May, Lampard takes great inspiration from what transpired last term.

"Last year we were 15 points behind and we got back to where we could have won it at the end," said the veteran midfielder.

"You never write it off, but you have to see how well the other teams are playing, particularly City, and we don't want to give ourselves that much of a mountain to climb at this stage.

"It's enough of a gap as it is, and the competition at the top is so fierce you cannot afford to lose too many points. But I think experience tells us there's a long way to go."

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