Chelsea boss Ancelotti sets sights on Manchester United

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti challenged his players to win their five remaining games after closing the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester United.

"We are six points behind and it will not be easy to close that," said Ancelotti, whose team defeated Birmingham 3-1 on Wednesday.

"Our aim is to win every game and after that see how our position is. It will not be easy but that is our aim.

"We have to believe until the referee whistles for the end of the game."

Florent Malouda scored twice against Birmingham, including an early strike that set his team on their way to a comfortable victory.

In football, I learned that everything can happen in the game right up to the final whistle

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti

With Arsenal held 3-3 at Tottenham, the men from Stamford Bridge moved above the Gunners and into second place on goal difference.

Chelsea have now won six of their last seven top-flight fixtures and have five games left to try to overhaul United and retain their Premier League title.

Ancelotti's team travel to Old Trafford for a match against United on 8 May, while the Red Devils also have to play Arsenal.

"The game is not finished but Manchester United have a fantastic advantage," added Ancelotti.

"We now have two games at home and after that we will have to wait and see."

Chelsea went six top-flight games without victory between 14 November and 27 December and have not been as high as second in the table since the middle of that poor spell of results.

But with his team hitting form at the right time, Ancelotti added: "In football, I learned that everything can happen in the game right up to the final whistle.

"You can win the title in the last minute and you can lose the title in the last minute.

"If we thought that one month ago we'd have a little chance to come back to fight for the title, I think that everyone could have said we were crazy."

Chelsea won the title with 86 points last season but currently have 64 points and cannot break the 80-point barrier this campaign.

"To win the title we'll need less points than last season," reflected the Blues boss.

"We won it with 86 last season. With [a total of] 80 points, United can win the title. They need 10 points [to reach that target]."

But Ancelotti refused to confirm whether wining the title would improve his chances of remaining in charge next season.

The Premier League is his team's one remaining chance of winning silverware this campaign, but the Italian said: "Questions with 'if' are not good.

"At the end of the season, we will have a big press conference, a strong and tough press conference."