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English Premiership

Malouda eyes late title charge

LONDON, England, April 21- Florent Malouda believes Chelsea are firmly back in the title race after closing the gap on leaders Manchester United to six points.

Malouda scored twice in Chelsea’s 3-1 victory over Birmingham at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday and the France winger is confident the Blues can put real pressure on United in the final weeks of the season.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side were trailing well behind United just a month ago, but a run of six wins from seven league games has lifted them into second place and revived hopes of retaining the Premier League crown.

With a trip to Old Trafford to come in May and United also having to travel to third-placed Arsenal, Malouda insists Chelsea could mount one of the great come-from-behind title triumphs.

"The title race is open for the three teams," Malouda told Chelsea’s official website.

"We have no choice but to win every game to put pressure on Man United.

"They have to play at Arsenal but we have to play our part by winning our games. We have to stay humble, we know where we are coming from.

"We had difficult moments we had to overcome to come back to the second place and now we have to play at our best level. We have to give everything until the end of the season."

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Malouda’s improved form has been a major factor in Chelsea’s revival and he has now scored three times in the last four games following a mid-season slump.

The former Lyon star has equalled his best Premier League goal tally with 12 and puts his resurgence down to the extra recovery time between fixtures now Chelsea are out of all the cup competitions.

"Mentally and physically I feel strong again," Malouda said.

"When you score two goals in a game, you feel you are back to your best form.

"Maybe it is because we have fewer games to play and we have more time to prepare, but I am working hard in training to prepare the best of my form and have the result in the games."

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