Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has refused to throw in the towel in the Premier League title race after the 1-0 defeat at Chelsea on Sunday (5 November) left his side eight points behind Manchester City.
United arrived at Stamford Bridge following a precious victory over Tottenham Hotspur. However, Mourinho's side were second best at Chelsea and Alvaro Morata inflicted on them their second defeat of the season by scoring an impressive header in the 55th minute of the game.
The defeat leaves United eight points behind City after the Premier League leaders secured a 3-1 win over Arsenal earlier in the day.
However, Mourinho remains optimistic after pointing out that United will be stronger once they recover Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo from their respective injuries.
"We are worried, but there are 18 teams more worried than us because we are second," Mourinho told Sky Sports following the 1-0 defeat at Chelsea.
"Eight points in the Premier League is not the same in Portugal, La Liga or the Bundesliga. Yes, it is eight points, but there is still a lot of play. I hope, feel, think and wish that in the busy festive period and new year we are going to be at maximum strength with Paul Pogba, Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo back."
"I think they scored in the only period they were on top in the game but apart from that the game was even. The game was controlled by us and the game was controlled by them. We had chances and they had chances and with the first goal they found themselves winning and were able to bring more people to defend but, even so, knowing they can defend with a lot of people. We had a go, we tried to change the direction of our game. We created chances to equalise but we couldn't."
Meanwhile, Mourinho was full of praise for Marouane Fellaini after the Belgium international made his comeback from injury in the second part of the game.
The towering midfielder had not played a game for United since the win over Crystal Palace on 30 September, after suffering an injury days later while on international duty. However, he came on to replace Phil Jones in the 62nd minute of the game and forced Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois into a vital stop late on.
"I have to say that Fellaini was fantastic for me, his fellow players, for the fans, for the team, for the club. He was injured for weeks, he trained yesterday for the first time with the team and he put himself on the line, ready to come in and help in case the team needed him. So I am really pleased with him and I didn't want to go without saying that about Marouane," Mourinho added following the defeat at Chelsea.
"My thoughts with the substitutions was to bring [on] a third creative man. And then when Chelsea started putting defensive players on like Rudiger and Drinkwater and all the defensive bodies in, it was difficult to penetrate with the creativity of Rashford and Martial and the way to go would be with an amazing Marouane. With these different options, we created lots of chances. He has one with the chest and the volley and then the second ball Rashford shoots [just wide] with the left foot when Courtois had absolutely no chance. The players gave everything. We deserved a goal."