Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti accepts the 1-1 draw at Stoke has made defending their Barclays Premier League title more difficult for themselves.
The visitors were fortunate to escape with a point after a stirring display from the Potters, especially in the second half when they struck the crossbar twice and forced Petr Cech into a number of saves.
"We did our best. It was a good result because Stoke had opportunities," said Ancelotti. "They could have won, we could have won. It was exciting. We have to continue to do our best. The gap (to United) was not easy before this game and now it is more difficult but we have to think game by game."
He added: "We didn't think about this (the gap) before this game and we don't have to think about it after this game.
"The gap is more open now but we have to play our game. It is not about Manchester United. I think it is very difficult (to win league) - we said that before the game."
Jon Walters had put Stoke in front, only for Didier Drogba to peg the home side back before half-time.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis was pleased with his side's performance against a team he rates highly.
"It was a great start and Jon scored a great goal but we sat back and gave them the impetus and in the last 20 minutes of the first half they showed what a great team they are," he said.
"We had too many players after we scored sitting back and watching them pass it around.
"In the second half we pushed on to them with better quality balls up to Kenwyne Jones and got more bodies up there and it made for an entertaining game. We had the chances to win it but Chelsea are a great side with great players and you have to give them credit."