London: Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said the Premier League title race is still open despite his team stretching their lead over Manchester City to seven points on Saturday.
Branislav Ivanovic secured a 2-1 win for Chelsea at Aston Villa while City needed a late James Milner goal to scrape a 1-1 home draw with Hull City.
The results left Chelsea on 56 points to the 49 of City.
"In another country I would say it`s fantastic, in this country I would say it`s nothing. Every game is difficult, anything can happen. It`s very, very difficult," Mourinho told reporters.
"Seven points means seven points, we have 14 matches to go. We are speaking about 42 points to play for and in 42 we have a lead of seven. I think it`s nothing."
Mourinho of course is well aware that at the end of November Chelsea also led by seven points, only for City to draw level on New Year`s Day.
City have struggled badly since then, failing to win a league game, though again Mourinho said he considered the ups and downs to be par for the course in the Premier League.
"I`m surprised by nothing," he said. "In this country every team can take points so I am not surprised. I didn`t care about it. Somebody told me after the game and that was it.
"When you are top of the league you don`t need other teams to lose points. If they lose, good, but if they don`t it`s not a problem. We have to focus on ourselves. If we win the next game we have a seven-point lead with 13 matches to go. Let`s try to go step by step."
The next step is a home game against Everton on Wednesday, when City face enough tough fixture away at Stoke City.