Cech: Chelsea are on the charge

The Premier League champions face West Ham on Saturday evening

hoping to pounce on another slip-up by Manchester United, who host

Everton in the lunchtime kick-off. Wednesday night saw Chelsea take

advantage of United’s failure to win at Newcastle 24 hours earlier

by beating Birmingham 3-1 and moving to within six points of the

leaders. The win gave the Blues a glimmer of hope of retaining

their crown, something they can realistically only do if they win

their remaining five games. Having taken 19 points from a possible

21 and looking clinical again in front of goal, such a run does not

look impossible. It is a far cry from the mid-season slump which

saw Carlo Ancelotti’s side embark on their worst run in the league

for almost 15 years. Goalkeeper Cech said: “It now seems like the

beginning of the season again – when we get chances, we convert

them. “It’s important when you score goals because everything

becomes easier. “We got three against West Brom and another three

again. “This is the way to win games because nobody seems to want

to win the title and everybody is dropping points, so goal

difference will play a big part now. “Everything is close and we

could end up with the same number of points, so now it is important

to score goals.” Only a week ago, Chelsea’s season looked over.

Dumped out of the Champions League by United and 11 points adrift

in the Premier League, they were on course for their worst campaign

since Roman Abramovich bought the club. Manager Ancelotti appeared

all but resigned to losing his job, but suddenly the Italian has

managed to haul his side above Arsenal into second spot and back

into the title race. Cech said: “You can see how everything can go

fast this season. “Two weeks ago, the situation looked one way,

last week another way. “A few days on, everything looks different

again. “We are back in second spot and we are only six points

behind Manchester United. “We have another two games at home, which

will be massive for us. “We need to keep winning to maintain the

pressure on everybody. “Arsenal have difficult games and obviously

United have to play us and Arsenal so there could possibly be six

points (dropped by them). “Let’s see if we can take advantage. “We

play West Ham and a big game against Spurs. If we win both, the

situation could change again.”