Frank Lampard said Chelsea FC's 2-1 victory against Premier League leaders Manchester United FC was a signal that the champions are not about to concede defeat in their bid to defend the title.
Lampard scored the winner from the spot at Stamford Bridge on 79 minutes after substitute Yuri Zhirkov had been fouled by Chris Smalling. David Luiz's first goal in English football, a powerful half-volley inside the near post early in the second half, cancelled out Wayne Rooney's 29th-minute opener for United.
Lampard's spot kick enabled the Blues to trim the deficit between themselves and their opponents to 12 points with a game in hand and while he was reluctant to say Chelsea are back in the chase, the midfielder explained that the Londoners will not relinquish their crown easily.
"I don't know if we're firmly back in it, it's still a lot of points, but all we could do was win the game and show a signal that we're trying to get back in it and close the gap," he said. "We've done that, and though Man United are deservedly top of the league at the moment, we've still got some fight in us as we showed tonight."
Lampard's manager, Carlo Ancelotti, praised the second-half display of his side, saying: "It was a good performance and we're still alive. Man United are fantastic, they played really well, but we managed to keep going even at 1-0 down."
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who watched on as Nemanja Vidić was sent off in added time, said: "We defended badly for the first goal; that was a bad one to lose. We played very well. I thought it was great performance and we didn't deserve that. I'm proud of my payers, they did their best, created chances and played football."
Sir Alex introduced Ryan Giggs in the second half for his 606th league outing for United, a total which takes him level with Sir Bobby Charlton's record for the Old Trafford club. "Giggs is a phenomenal man," added Sir Alex of the 37-year-old, who made his United debut in March 1991.
"Everything that has been said about him over the last few weeks has been incredible. He deserves all of the accolades because he's an example to the game and to any young player who aspires to get to the top."
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