Chelsea no match for team of 2005, says Gary Neville

Chelsea Logo - Stamford Bridge Tunnel

The former Manchester United defender believes the first title-winning side of Jose Mourinho's is still ahead of these champions elect.

Sky Sports' Gary Neville has praised Chelsea but says they pale in comparison to the title winning side of 2005.

Eden Hazard’s goal was the difference on Saturday afternoon as the Blues beat Manchester United at Stamford Bridge to move closer to the Premier League title.

A title success would be their first in five years, and the first of Mourinho’s second spell in charge since his return to the club at the beginning of last season.

However, Mourinho's title winning side of 10 years ago coasted to glory as they lost just once throughout the campaign and finished 12 points clear of their nearest rivals. Neville says this current side has work to do to match that team.

“I don’t think it’s a Chelsea team like the first Chelsea team in 2005 that Mourinho had,” he said.

“It’s a very good team that needs to improve to get to that next level. There are a lot of similarities – Arjen Robben is Hazard, Diego Costa is Didier Drogba first time around – there are some similarities building in this Chelsea team.”

However, the former Manchester United defender does believe that Mourinho’s side played like champions in order to defeat Louis van Gaal’s in-form side.

United were on top for much of the game, with the statistics showing they enjoyed 70 percent of the possession and bossed most of the other areas as well, but they ultimately failed to breach the Chelsea back-line.

In contrast, the Blues were dogged in their display and Neville says that is the sign of champions.

“They played like champions,” he added.

“It was a team that knew what they needed to do during the game. They recognised that they probably couldn’t take Manchester United on punch for punch at football in passing terms, but they had the power, the strength, the determination and the physicality.”

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch