Malouda plays down Blues blip

French star confident Chelsea will still defend Premier League

Malouda: Confidence not shaken

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Florent Malouda has played down Chelsea's shock home defeat by Sunderland and is confident they can still defend their title.

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The Blues lost 3-0 at home to the Black Cats on Sunday - their biggest league defeat at Stamford Bridge since April 2002 - and their lead at the top of the Premier League table has been cut to two points.

But Malouda, currently preparing for France's friendly against England on Wednesday, insists it was only a blip for Carlo Ancelotti's men.

"Whatever people might say, we are still first in the league and that means that we have lost less points than our opponents," said the midfielder.

"The sort of result against Sunderland can happen in the Premier League.

Great record

"We have had a great home record and now we have to start again.

"But we have the players to defend our title and there is nothing more to add to that.

"Our confidence has not been shaken. It is a long season and anyone can have a slight dip in form - whether it is a team or an individual.

"Like I said, we are still first in the league and were also one of the first to qualify out of our group for the Champions League.

"We will come through this spell."

After a superb start to the season, in which Malouda scored six goals in the defending champions' first five league games, his recent performances have come under scrutiny.

France coach Laurent Blanc suggested that has coincided with Chelsea's mini-slump, which has seen them lose two of their last three league games.

Dip in form

But Malouda claims injury has hampered him in recent weeks, during which he has scored just one in 10 for the Blues.

"I was injured recently so it has been a bit of a tough period," he said.

"But it is much more important to me that Chelsea have had a great start to the season rather than issues over my personal form.

"That doesn't mean to say I lack ambition but, for me, it's about Chelsea starting well."