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Chelsea boss Guus has title Blues
Published : 23 Apr 2009 06:30:00Rss feed
Guus Hiddink all-but conceded that Chelsea were out of the Premier League title race after Wednesday's failure to overcome a stubborn Everton.In a dress rehearsal for the FA Cup final at the end of May, neither side managed to break the deadlock in a game dominated by goalkeepers on a night when both sides failed to take any of their chances.Chelsea's Petr Cech and Everton's Tim Howard produced fine solo performances to preserve the stalemate which, coupled with Manchester United's 2-0 victory over Portsmouth, put an end to any remaining title ambitions for Hiddink's side."We said before the game that the two followers of Manchester United must not waste any points to keep in the race but the facts are we lost two points tonight," said Hiddink."You must be realistic that maybe mathematically there is still a chance but also on the other hand, you cannot waste any points."We always said the pressure was more on Liverpool and Chelsea regarding the title race because United have a game in hand."That's how the facts are. It is difficult but we now have to focus on only two other roads - the Champions League and later on in May, against Everton again in the FA Cup final."Everyone is disappointed. We knew it was difficult to go for the title so when you drop two points there is disappointment of course. But this team is able to cope with that and focus ourselves on the difficult game against Barcelona next week."Hiddink was also keen to divert praise to Cech, who shook off some lacklustre recent displays to put in a gutsy showing."Everton had some dangerous counter-attacks and in those counter-attacks I'd like to pick out one player - Petr Cech. He made some good saves."At the end he was very brave especially regarding his past (head) injury. He put his head into a dangerous situation and had a good performance."He showed tonight what he is capable of as he has done in the past. But every player has a right to have a period when he is not at peak performance."Maybe one or two might be rested or not playing as much as normal in the league but we have to focus more on the upcoming Champions League games."Everton boss David Moyes was delighted with his side's point after their gruelling victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final at the weekend."It was a good point under the circumstances after playing 120 minutes on Sunday," said Moyes. "We didn't have a massive amount of recovery before coming here to play a team who are in good form. So I think a point was a good result for us."We had some good chances but I thought Joseph Yobo and Joleon Lescott were terrific at the back. I thought all the boys at the back were very good."We kept a clean sheet for 120 minutes on Sunday and for another 90 tonight, so they are doing well."We have to be resilient. When you are up against a very good team who have spent heavily, there will be times when you are under pressure and you need to have defenders who can cope."The players feel great, they have been playing great all season and I have to say well done to them. This was another terrific effort from them."It means a lot to me to finish fifth. If we do it this year it will be four top six finishes out of five. So what we've done is a decent effort and Everton are becoming a side that is competing at a top level."
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