The Wisdom Of Salomon

SALOMON Kalou insists Chelsea cannot expect Manchester United to hand them the title after he celebrated his first hat-trick for the club in a 7-0 drubbing of Stoke.

The Ivory Coast international scored twice in the opening half before clinching a well-earned hat-trick with Chelsea's fifth.

Kalou was supported by a double from Frank Lampard and goals from substitute Daniel Sturridge and Florent Malouda.

The Blues now face Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday in what could be a pivotal moment in the title race and Kalou maintains the victory over Stoke showed how badly Carlo Ancelotti's squad want to be crowned champions.

"Winning 7-0 at home shows we really want to be champions," said Kalou. "If you want to be champions, that's the kind of game you have to win.

"We didn't show any nerves. Everyone was at their best and played very well. We know United won't back down so we have to push it. We have to focus on ourselves and keep winning our games. We can't expect United to give us the title."

Meanwhile, midfielder Lampard has urged his team-mates to finish the title race against Liverpool with the same commitment and spirit they demonstrated against the Potters.

The superb win put the Blues back on the top of the Barclays Premier League by a single point over rivals Manchester United.

Victory for Liverpool would help their chances of finishing in the top four but at the same time it could

swing the pendulum back to Sir Alex Ferguson's side, who travel to Sunderland for a 4pm kick-off the same day.

Should United win the title it would see them move ahead of Liverpool for most league championships as the pair are currently tied on 18 each.

But Lampard insists handing the record to United will not figure in the minds of Liverpool's players next weekend and urged his team-mates to show the same intensity they did against the Potters.

"The win against Stoke doesn't count for anything now," declared Lampard. "Of course you want to carry the momentum through and it is helpful to take confidence into the next game.

"But if we don't turn up at Anfield, play slow and without the same intensity that we did against Stoke, then we will lose, it is simple as that.

"There is no chance 11 Liverpool players will go out and consider United winning the title on what happens in that game. They will go out to win. They will want to be professional.

"There is no way they will think about anything else other than winning the game, regardless of whether it helps them get in the Champions League or not. They will give everything, there is no doubt about that.

"It is a difficult match but it's not a case of us worrying. Everyone is aware that when they go to Liverpool it will be difficult, whatever stage of the season it is. Win two games and we win the League."

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