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Page last updated at 09:08 GMT, Thursday, 20 March 2008

Title race is not over yet - Cole

Joe Cole
Cole was in great form and scored Chelsea's fourth goal at Spurs

Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole believes the Premier League title race is still wide open with eight games left to go.

Avram Grant's side lost ground after Wednesday's 4-4 draw at Spurs, falling five points behind leaders Manchester United and three adrift of Arsenal.

But Cole said: "Don't write off anybody. It's anyone's title still.

"It's been a long season and the next two months there will be ups and downs. But the team that wins it, will be the team who can focus and concentrate."

Grant was left frustrated after his side lost the lead three times to settle for a thrilling 4-4 draw at White Hart Lane.

"It was a good game for the supporters but not for us because we wanted to win and we haven't done it," he said.

"When you lead a game three times and don't win, the players are not so happy, especially when we have shown such a good spirit.

"But we are still in the title race and we will continue fighting."

We've seen tackles that were much less serious given red cards

Juande Ramos on Ashley Cole's tackle

Three of Tottenham's equalisers came from set-pieces and Grant said he was not happy with the way his team conceded the goals.

"We led 3-1 and then lost two goals from corners, and even when we went one up we lost an equaliser from a free-kick.

"It's very disappointing. One of our strengths is we defend well against corners and free-kicks but in the last two games Spurs scored five goals from set-pieces.

"I don't know how to explain this."

Grant played down a contentious incident in first-half stoppage time that saw Chelsea defender Ashley Cole escape with a yellow card from referee Mike Riley following a late and high tackle on Spurs defender Alan Hutton.

Chelsea's players surrounded the official after the incident and Cole turned his back on Riley before finally being cautioned.

Grant said: "I didn't see it but the referee was very close and I saw everybody jump on him, including the Tottenham bench. I know when we are doing this everybody says we are not behaving right. We have a lot of respect for referees."

606: DEBATE
MH

Spurs boss Juande Ramos said: "In this case the referee decided it was a yellow card but we've seen tackles that were much less serious given red cards.

"It's best not to dwell on that kind of action. We're just very fortunate there weren't any injuries to players."

And first team coach Gus Poyet said: "When you have nights of football like this, it is possibly best to forget these things and look forward to the next game.

"It was a great game of football for everybody except the two goalkeepers.

"It was a strange game because we were always chasing, but almost won it at the end and could have nicked the three points but for a fantastic save by Carlo Cudicini from Dimitar Berbatov."




see also
Tottenham 4-4 Chelsea
19 Mar 08 |  Premier League
Premier League as it happened
19 Mar 08 |  Premier League
Wednesday's football photos
19 Mar 08 |  Football


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