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MICHAEL ESSIEN insists Chelsea will snatch the title from Manchester United's grasp by winning their last seven games.

The Blues trail Alex Ferguson's leaders by five points but face them at Stamford Bridge on April 26.

And hardman Essien believes Chelsea's never-say-die spirit will help them seal glory in the Premier League AND in Europe.

The Ghanaian said: “We've shown character by storming back into contention for the title when not many people gave us a chance.

“We need that character to get through the remaining matches successfully.

“It is very important for us to beat United if we are to win the title. But ultimately we must win all our remaining matches to be sure.

“At this stage of the season, any team is capable of dropping points so it is well within our reach to win the title.†After Sunday's clash with Middlesbrough, Chelsea take on Fenerbahce in the Champions League quarter-final first leg in Turkey on Wednesday.

Essien, 25, added: “In the past when people have written us off, we defied the odds and put in good performances. Also, when a lot of people said we were going to win the Champions League, it did not happen.

“So predicting something is difficult. What I can assure you is we won't under-estimate any team. All the strong teams in Europe are in the competition.â€

Under Avram Grant, no Chelsea player is guaranteed a first-team place.

Yet Essien insists he is enjoying the competition.

He said: “The team is the most important thing. I'm not used to sitting on the bench but I will always give 100 per cent to the team and will continue to do that. I feel fresh and fit enough to finish the season on a high.â€

Essien's Chelsea team-mate Joe Cole reckons there will be more twists and turns before the season is over.

The Blues leapfrogged Arsenal into second place by beating them 2-1 in last Sunday's showdown.

And England winger Cole insisted: “It has been a long season and there are going to be ups and downs over the next two months.

“It will be great for the neutral to watch and we just have to stay focused. It is anybody's title.

“It has been a long season and we have had a lot of adversity. We could yet win a major trophy so we will keep going.

“Everyone at Chelsea sticks together. It is a great chance for this club to do something special.â€


4,828 Posts
Let's see Michael...

I seem to remember a game where spurs scored late to deny you two vital must have been quite some time ago if you have been storming back into the race recently.............wait, I got it!


Keep on storming, Mr Essien! Go boro...

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