Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admitted that his side had missed a chance to go six points clear of Chelsea after being held to a 1-1 draw at home by the Blues.
Louis Saha's first-half opener put United on course for victory, but Ricardo Carvalho's header in the second half ensured that the Old Trafford showdown ended all-square, with United maintaining a three-point lead at the top of the table.
Ferguson commented: "We proved we can compete and that when we reach the high levels of performance we are the best team in the country at the moment.
"The test for us now is to step forward from this, because winning championships is about beating other teams. If we want to win the title, consistency is the name of the game.
"It is disappointing to draw because we were in a winning position and allowed them to get an equaliser.
"It was a big opportunity for us, but they got the break they needed.
"But Chelsea should take credit from the game. They never stopped fighting, although we did not allow them to break up our rhythm."