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弗格森称联赛冠军非切尔西队莫属(2)

2006-01-05 00:00张海山,CRI

Summary: Alex Ferguson paid a glowing tribute to English champions Chelsea after Manchester United's title hopes were hit by a 0-0 draw at Arsenal on Tuesday.

    Chelsea, the runaway Premier League leaders, beat Arsenal 2-0 at Highbury last month and are now 13 points ahead of second-placed United after they were held in north London.

    Ferguson, who stopped short of conceding the title to Jose Mourinho's team, told Sky Sports News: "Chelsea have been fantastically consistent and there is no-one anywhere that can match them at this point.

    "I don't think the quality of the game has been raised in any way (by Chelsea), but they have retained that great consistency and are happy to grind out 1-0 wins."

    Arsenal's title hopes had already been consigned to next season. They are 24 points behind Chelsea and face a real battle to deny United the second automatic Champions League slot —— trailing their old rivals by 11 points.

    Like Ferguson, Wenger has no doubts about the strength of Mourinho's side, who have won their last nine league games.

    "Chelsea's a mature team, their players are between 25 and 30. It's a team with power and is in full belief," he said.

    "I feel we are coming back to a good level and that the team needs belief. Psychologically, without speaking about the title, for the team it's a positive result."

    Asked when his men might be a match for Chelsea, Wenger said: "At the moment not…… let's first assess this season in May and then we'll see."

    The match had little or none of the bad feeling that had marked previous encounters between two sides who had dominated the English scene before Chelsea.

    "The game was less of a battle for the title and the players were less nervous because they'd played four games —— and that gets the nervousness out of you," said Wenger "The first half was at a high pace but it dropped a bit in the second and you could feel that in the final third you couldn't find the spark to make the difference."

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