Andre Villas-Boas believes Chelsea can hunt down Manchester City in the title race after his side came back from a goal down to claim a 2-1 win over Roberto Mancini’s men on Monday.
Frank Lampard’s penalty seven minutes from time was enough to end City’s unbeaten start to the season at Stamford Bridge after Raul Meireles had cancelled out Mario Balotelli’s 2nd minute opener.
The win means that Chelsea now sit seven point behind table-toppers City, and Villas-Boas believes that his side have put themselves right back in hunt for the title.
"We did very, very well in the second half to find that detail that would take us through to the three points," the former Porto manager said.
"So, [I'm] very, very happy. It's a very, very gratifying win. It's been a good week for us.
"It changes a little bit our challenge for the Premier League. Seven points in this Premier League at the moment, with so many teams competing for the title, it's nothing.
"Man City play Arsenal in the next week, we play Tottenham.”
He added: "For our title challenge to continue to be alive, we will have to continue to be competent through the December fixtures, and then we can take a look at it in January to see more or less where we are and see if things are back on track again."
The victory came as a particular relief for Villa-Boas after the 34-year-old adopted a siege mentality when dealing with the media in recent weeks, lashing out at the negative coverage his side had received after the vital 3-0 Champions League win over Valencia in mid-week.
Having described the treatment of the Blues in the media as a “persecution” last week, Villas-Boas stood by his reaction to the press after the game on Monday.
"You can check them on the internet, you can Google it and come across it. It was criticism to us, criticism to me, criticism to our players,” he commented.
"Our players are not fit, these players cannot compete for this title, they cannot compete with this philosophy.
"So the fact that we won away to Newcastle, we won against Valencia to be top of the [Champions League] group, and we won against the unbeaten league leaders showed that in fact these guys can take it through.”
"We are competent, we believe in our title hopes, we believe in our title challenge."
If Villas-Boas felt he has had a rough time of it recently, luck was certainly on their side last night, with referee Mark Clattenburg waving away City appeals for a certain penalty when they led 1-0.
Clattenburg could have also sent off Raul Meireles earlier in the game, but Villas-Boas waved away City’s post-game protests as the “nature of the game.”