Manchester United ’s 2-0 triumph over neighbours and reigning Premier League champions Manchester City came as no surprise to Frank Lampard.
Chelsea kicked off the afternoon’s entertainment with a thumping victory over Everton at Stamford Bridge.
But Lampard was reluctant to get ahead of himself when discussing the race for a top-four finish.
The Blues boss has seen Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United climb closer to the Champions League spots in recent weeks.
United last lost a match back in mid-January, having enjoyed a strong run of form since suffering a 2-0 defeat to Burnley.
Following the Manchester derby win, United moved back into fifth spot and cut the gap to Chelsea back to just three points.
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The two rivals each have nine games left to play in then top flight this season, and the battle for Champions League football is certainly heating up.
Fifth place could ultimately secure qualification for Europe’s elite club competition due to City’s ban, but United and Chelsea cannot take any chances.
Lampard was asked about the top four race after Chelsea beat Everton and before United kicked off against City.
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He said: “Still a long way to go. Manchester United play today but are in great form. Their impactful acquisitions in January have given them a nice spring in their step.
“They are going to challenge. So there are quite a few teams, I don't have to name them all.
“It looks a small cushion as I sit here now but I don't feel that way. We have to get ourselves right and fight to the end.”
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A reporter added: “You said you were underdogs but now it's in your hands?”
Lampard continued: “It’s in our hands. When I said underdogs I was looking at the big scene. With a lot of games to play and a lot points to fight for, I’m not going to say we’re favourites.
“There’s a lot of work to be done. At times we have had inconsistencies for different reasons this year. We have to fight against that ourselves and get the points.
“I don't know if we're underdogs or not but it certainly doesn’t feel to me like we’re favourites. There's too far to go.”
- Frank Lampard
- Chelsea FC
- Manchester United FC
- Manchester City FC
- Everton FC
- Premier League
- Champions League
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
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