Maurizio Sarri played down Chelsea’s title chances after their 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Saturday.
It looked as though Chelsea were set to go level on points with Manchester City at the top of the table after Eden Hazard’s 25th-minute strike put them ahead.
However, Daniel Sturridge’s superb late goal salvaged a draw for Liverpool.
Sarri said ahead of the match that Liverpool are “ready now to win the Premier League” and his view was not altered by the result at Stamford Bridge.
“No, I think they are a step forward but I think also that we are closer than I thought one week ago,” he said.
“The first two places, as you know, for me, is going to be very difficult because Manchester City and Liverpool are a step forward on us. So it is very difficult. But I think we can fight for the Champions League.
“I am disappointed because they scored in the last two minutes but in the end I am really very happy, first of all with the performance and I think also that the draw may be the right result. The match was wonderful.”