LIVERPOOL - A 2-0 win for Chelsea at Anfield did little to instil any discernible joie de vivre in Carlo Ancelotti, but the Italian coach said his side had shown the mettle of champions with the key victory over Liverpool.
Chelsea will clinch the championship if they defeat Wigan at Stamford Bridge next Sunday after goals from Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard got the Londoners over the tricky hurdle at Anfield.
The win put Chelsea four points clear of Manchester United, who were playing Sunderland later on Sunday in their penultimate match.
A defeat for United at the Stadium of Light would mean Chelsea could celebrate the title a week early.
"I am happy because it was a difficult game," deadpanned Ancelotti, who has now masterminded home and away league wins over Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool in his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge.
"We deserved to win. We did a fanastic job because there was a lot of pressure on us in this game, but we controlled our emotions.
"Now the team is fit and in good physical condition, good mentality ahead of next week's game. I always said the title would be decided at the end of the season."
Ancelotti admitted that Steven Gerrard's uncharacteristic error that allowed Drogba to make the all-important breakthrough helped Chelsea grab the momentum.
In a lax moment, Gerrard's ill-conceived backpass was intercepted by Drogba, who rounded Pepe Reina to give Chelsea the lead.
"The goal changed the game because we had more confidence after that," added the Italian. "As for Lampard, he has fantastic skills to move into the box at the right time.comments