Mourinho was almost right... It's a five-horse title race

Jose Mourinho Chelsea

Back in August, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said six teams could win the Premier League title.

Before the analogy of the horse in English football was flogged to death, the Special One thought the battle for the league's top prize was essentially a six-horse race.

"I think we are speaking about six contenders, all good teams, and let's see if any one of the six is good enough to make a real difference and to disappear and to go on to be dominant, or if there will be great balance between the sides until the end," he told reporters all those months ago.

With hindsight, we can look back and say Mourinho was almost right.

With 12 games to go until the conclusion of one of the closest title races in recent history (13 in the case of Manchester City) only seven points separate the top five teams in the Premier League.

The sixth side the Chelsea boss was referring to - Manchester United - unfortunately haven't made the cut. Fifteen points off the Blues, David Moyes' side have neither form nor momentum on their side.

Tim Sherwood's Spurs do, however. In their last 10 games, Tottenham have lost just once - to Manchester City - and their 4-0 win over Newcastle has taken them closer to top spot than they would ever have imagined during Andre Villas-Boas' ill-fated reign.

But the big story of recent weeks has been the form of Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool, who are now only four points off top and, realistically, no longer just top-four contenders.

With Arsenal currently undergoing a traditional mini-crisis and Manchester City not having won in their last two, meanwhile, Chelsea failed to capitalise after dropping points at West Brom on Tuesday, as well.

So the race for the Premier League is as open as ever coming into the closing stages of the season, meaning Mourinho was right all those months ago. As passive and diplomatic as those soundbites appeared to be, the 51-year-old was pretty much on the ball.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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