Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho insisted his side’s Premier League title ambitions were still intact despite a 1-0 loss away to former club Chelsea on Sunday.
Alvaro Morata’s 55th-minute goal at Stamford Bridge was enough to give reigning champions Chelsea victory and leave United eight points behind in-form leaders Manchester City.
“We are second – not fifth, sixth or seventh or eighth,” Mourinho told Sky Sports. “We have several teams in a more difficult position than we have. Eight points is eight points.
“We went through a very difficult phase with important matches against Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea without important players.”
The Portuguese manager added: “The game was controlled by us and the game was controlled by them. We had chances and they had chances, and with the first goal, they were able to bring more people to defend.
“We tried to change the direction of our game, we created chances to equalise, but we couldn’t.
“We had chances. If I remember (Romelu) Lukaku’s shot in the first half, and in the last part of the game with the (Marcus) Rashford shot...We had lots of chances to score goals,” Mourinho said.
Victory saw Chelsea move to within nine points of top spot and eased the pressure on the London club’s Italian manager Antonio Conte, following a 3-0 loss away to Roma in the Champions League earlier this week.
“We had plenty of chances, especially in the first half, but we could have killed it off in the second half,” said Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas.
“We had more possession than usual, which is something for me we have been lacking, but we had the personality to play. It is fantastic to defend well, but this is a team full of fantastic players and we need to take advantage of that.
“We played like a big team, defended like a big team, and we have to be proud.”