Jose Mourinho continues to claim that Chelsea cannot win the title this season referring to his side as a "little horse" compared to City's squad of thoroughbred winners.
Nobody is buying the Portuguese's sentiments however with a growing momentum gathering behind the Stamford Bridge club's title ambitions.
The smokescreen created by Mourinho's refusal to accept Chelsea as title contenders eases the pressure on a developing squad whilst placing pressure on title favourites City. It is not dissimilar to the tactic employed by Roberto Mancini towards the end of City's title winning campaign of 2012. The Italian refused to accept that his side could win the title and United capitulated, throwing away an almost unassailable lead at the summit.
On Monday night Mourinho put on yet another masterclass in how to win against the odds. Before the game all the talk was of a City win and Chelsea needing to not loose by nicking a draw, but by half time Chelsea led and were in the ascendency.
The Chelsea performance was in the classic mould of a Mourinho side: disciplined, energetic, 100 percent committed and of course victorious. By the time the full time whistle blew Chelsea had rattled the woodwork three times and could have won by more than 1-0.
Of course Mourinho has previous in upsetting the odds. He guided Porto to a Champions League title in 2004 masterminding a famous 3-2 aggregate win against Manchester United with a late goal at Old Trafford.
In 2010 en route to another European Cup final he knocked Barcelona out with an unfancied Inter side at the semi final stage, and would later break the Catalonian's four year hold on La Liga whilst at Real Madrid. Mourinho does not mind being the underdog in fact he relishes it.
Mourinho is the best in the world at managing big games and embraces the role of leader heading into them. He has seen it all before and knows how to deal with the pressures of a title race in fact he thrives upon it.
Gary Neville said it best when he stated "He doesn't mind us praising him does Jose Mourinho. He loves the attention of big matches". This is a man who covets the limelight and uses the media spotlight to paint the football world a shade of Chelsea blue.
With the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson this summer Mourinho has now become the senior man in the Premier League. Despite Arsene Wenger being the longest serving manager in the league he does not demand the same attention as Mourinho.
The Portuguese has been at his brilliant best this term celebrating in the crowd after Chelsea's dramatic 2-1 win against City at the Bridge. Last week he suggested West Ham play '19th century football' as a cover for what was in truth a disappointing result for his side.
He has even stated that Chelsea do not get enough support in the media due to a bias of former Liverpool and Man United players being pundits. These for want of a better term mind games can be vital in a hugely competitive league and Mourinho is all to aware of this.
He commands the media and the refs attention during matches and come May this could well swing the title pendulum towards Stamford Bridge.
As the title race unravels over the next three months Mourinho's experience will be key and over the course of the season it has paid dividends against the other members of the top four.
Chelsea have taken 10 points from a possible 12 against Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool and results against your competitors are always welcome and may be the difference in the final standings. City have taken 6 points, Arsenal just 4 and Liverpool none against members of the top four.
With only Arsenal at home and a trip to Anfield to come against top four opponents Mourinho will be confident his side can take 16 out of 18 points from their nearest rivals. Mourinho has never lost against Arsene Wenger and would fancy himself to get one over one of his many former understudies Brendan Rodgers.
Time will tell but perhaps the most important aspect of the win at the Etihad was that it removed the air of invincibility that surrounded City this season. Mourinho's tactical class showed that if attacked in the right manner City can be got at. David Silva, one of City's leading lights this year, was cruelly exposed as a weakness, with his tendency to cut inside allowing space for the tireless Branislav Ivanovic to venture forward.
As the title race unravels it is clear that Chelsea and Mourinho will face a fight to upstage favourites City and current pace setters Arsenal in the title race but with 'The Special One' at the helm it would be risky to rule out a blue moon rising in London not Manchester come May the 11th.
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