Carlo Ancelotti challenged Chelsea to win every one of their last nine Premier League games after they beat Manchester City to go third.
The champions left it late before sealing a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge which lifted them above their opponents into third place and moved them to within nine points of Manchester United with a game in hand.
Anything other than a victory almost certainly would have killed off Ancelotti's men but, with their next five league games coming against sides in the lower reaches of the table, they now have an ideal opportunity to pounce on further United slip-ups during the next month.
"We have nine games to play and we have to do our best," said Ancelotti.
"We have to try to win every game.
"Manchester United won on Saturday so the gap's the same.
"Now there'll be an international break. When the players come back, I'd like to see the same spirit and attitude."
For 77 minutes, Chelsea were in real danger of dropping out of the title race as they struggled to break down a stubborn City side.