The title race is back on! OK, so it was only a few days ago that Carlo Ancelotti was stating that Chelsea had it in the bag (well, that we had been the best side this season, and would continue to be), but with this weeks' topsy-turvy action, it seems that the Premiership will go down to the wire. It's not going to be as easy as we thought!
Actually, it could all be that easy, if only we re-discover the art of defending. Against teams like Everton (and Bolton, Blackburn, Burnley, etc) we're never going to be threatened in open play, but they will be competitive from the set-pieces, when they can load the box (Eeek! I'm starting to sound American) with their big centre-backs and hope that they can poke the ball home amidst the chaos that prevails.
We know that they are going to do this, which is why defending corners against such teams needs practising. Anelka and Drogba (both great headers of the ball) need to get back and help out, and JT needs to become the leader we know and love.
On Saturday that didn't quite happen, with our defence and team, getting caught out again and again. And it could have cost us.
Thankfully, Manchester United are no longer the force they once were. Whilst they used to be able to count on Cristiano Ronaldo pulling a goal out of nowhere from the right-wing, his place has been taken by Antonio Valencia, who refuses to shoot even when he gets a chance to. Ronaldo would have scored against Villa - Valencia had chances but didn't take any of them. United wouldhave gone level on points with us at the top of the Prem had they won at home, and we just have to be thankful that Villa played them off the park.
Arsenal are now coming up on the outside, after a solid though not unexpected win over Liverpool, and are now just three points behind United, with a game in hand.
We still have our advantage, but we need to build a solid run of form up over the Christmas period. We have a chance to do that - our games until February read quite nicely: Portsmouth, West Ham, Birmingham, Fulham, Hull, Sunderland, Birmingham and Burnley. 24 points from these 8 games would be enough to get us the title.