CHELSEA (7) vs STOKE CITY (0)
CARLO ANCELOTTI insists the destiny of Premier League title is in Chelsea’s hands after watching his side smash sorry Stoke for seven at Stamford Bridge.
A first career hat-trick from Ivorian striker Salomon Kalou, a brace for Frank Lampard and goals apiece from Daniel Sturridge and Florent Malouda ensured the Blues went a point clear of Manchester United at the top of the table.
It means victories over Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday and Wigan at home on the final day of the season will see the Chelsea end United’s three-year reign as champions.
Chelsea have now struck 93 goals in the league this season, including three seven-goal hauls since January.
But Ancelotti doesn’t believe that goal difference will count for anything in the title race this season and is focusing his attentions solely on a maximum six-point return.
“Goal difference was not important – we have scored a lot of goals this season in the Premier League,” the Italian said.
“It won’t come down to goal difference to decide it. There will be one team that arrives in first place and another who arrives in second place.
“It will be very difficult at Liverpool. But it is in our hands. Liverpool are a fantastic team still going for fourth place. It’s ours to lose. But that’s a good thing. To have a title in our own hands is a good thing. Our destiny is in our hands, so now I am quiet and calm.”
Indeed Ancelotti insists nothing else but maximum points will do as he fully expects United to win their final two games, away at Sunderland and home to Stoke.
“I think United will be able to win their games,” he added. “Every game is a different story, but our aim is to win two games. If we win two games, we are champions. I hope we play against Liverpool like we played today.”
Stoke’s misery was compounded by goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen sustaining a fractured elbow in a challenge with Kalou which rules him out of Denmark’s World Cup campaign.
Potters boss Tony Pulis admitted: “We got our backsides slapped.”
PREMIER LEAGUE | BIGGEST WINS
9-0 – Man Utd v Ipswich (March 1995)
9-1 – Tottenham v Wigan (Nov 2009)
8-0 – Newcastle v Sheff Wed (Sept 1999)
8-1 – Man Utd v Nottm Forest (Feb 1999)
7-0 – Chelsea v Stoke (Apr 2009)
Arsenal v Everton (May 2005)
Blackburn v Nottm Forest (Nov 1995)
Man Utd v Barnsley (Oct 1997)
Arsenal v Middlesbrough (Jan 2006)