Cech: Title dreams over

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Goalkeeper Petr Cech admits Chelsea's goalless draw against Everton on Wednesday night has finally put an end to their title hopes.

The Blues failed to break down a stubborn Everton rearguard and, although Cech returned to his best form, the draw left them six points adrift of leaders Manchester United, who also have a game in hand.

"Mathematically, it is not finished but we have to be realistic and I can hardly see Man United dropping nine points for us to go in front and we can't forget we are a few points behind Liverpool, who are closer," said Cech.

It was only the second time in Guus Hiddink's spell in charge Chelsea had dropped league points and, although the Blues kept their first clean sheet in five games, the result was a massive disappointment to the players.

"If Man United slip and have a bad spell, we are not the closest one to gain from that, so I think now, with their one game in hand, it is stretched too far in front of us," Cech added.

Cech's superb display against Everton silenced his critics as he twice denied Everton striker Jo and midfielder Tim Cahill. The Czech international had been criticised for his performances in the three previous games, which saw Chelsea concede eight goals.

There was more good news for the Chelsea stopper after a late collision with Everton forward Jo left him grounded - but what first appeared as a nasty blow to the head turned out to be only a bloody nose and Cech expects to be fit to face West Ham on Saturday.

"I got a knock on the nose so it is sore but nothing too dramatic," added Cech. "I knew that we were going to clash because the ball didn't bounce too high or low - I knew I had to put my head in there, it was the only way I could get to the ball first.

"As soon as I headed the ball I put my arm across to protect myself. But that stopped him from moving and he did the same thing, so his elbow caught me straight on the nose."

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Petr Cech
Premier League
Manchester United
Tim Cahill

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