Meireles: Drogba holds Chelsea key

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Raul Meireles believes Chelsea teammate Didier Drogba is pivotal to the club's chances of success this season.

The Ivorian hitman has been in fine form for the Stamford Bridge outfit in recent weeks, with an imperious display at the front of Andre Villas-Boas' attack helping the Blues to a 2-1 win over Manchester City in their most recent clash on Monday.

After starting the season behind Spanish striker Fernando Torres, 33-year-old Drogba has forced his way back into the first team fold, and Meireles believes his form is now imperative to their title charge.

"Drogba is the key to this team. We need Didier and his goals," Meireles told The Sun.

"He scored twice against Valencia last week and another against Newcastle and both times he demonstrated his quality at the decisive moment.

"He'll boost our title charge. We have all spoken in the dressing room and our challenge now is to obtain every home point going until the end of the season."

The Portuguese international playmaker was on the scoresheet in west London on Monday night, pulling the Blues level before his replacement, Frank Lampard, scored the winner from the penalty spot.

That victory, coupled with the prior wins at St James' Park and in Europe, have raised confidence levels to a new level under Villas-Boas. With the gap down to just seven points between third-placed Chelsea and the top-of-the-table City, belief has seeped back into the players.

"We had a wonderful nine days in beating Newcastle, Valencia and City, and fulfilled the challenge we set ourselves," concluded the 28-year-old.

"It was essential to reduce the difference in points between ourselves and City, and also to show them they are not invincible.

"That was an excellent victory, very good for morale, although we realise there is a long way to go."

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