Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho again played down his side’s Premier League title chances despite returning to top spot with a 3-0 home win over Stoke.
The Blues, who have five games left, lead Liverpool by a point and Manchester City by two points, but have played more games than both rivals.
Mourinho said: “The situation is the same. The table is fake. The table is again with lots of matches in hand.”
He added it was “not the best image” for the “best league in the world”.
City have two matches in hand on Chelsea, one because weather forced the postponement of their home game against Sunderland, which will now be played on 16 April.
And City’s match against Aston Villa will not be played until four days before the final day of the season.
“To play matches in hand in the last week of the season, I don’t think is adapted to this top football country,” Mourinho added.
“You look to the top part of the table and, some teams, they have more matches than others. You look to the relegation area and it’s exactly the same.”
Goals from Mohamed Salah, making his first Chelsea start since arriving from Swiss side Basle for £11m in January, Frank Lampard and Willian secured a comfortable victory over Stoke at Stamford Bridge.
“The players can go home with smiles on their faces,” Mourinho said.
“He [Salah] is improving, step by step. We knew he was a player for the next season and can use this season to improve.
“Next season we have kids like him – Oscar, Eden Hazard, Willian and Andre Schurrle – all of them 20 to 25, all talented and with time to reach the top of the game.”
“We have to enjoy the match on Tuesday and not to be scared of it, not lose the tie and go out,” Mourinho said.
“[To] enjoy it is the best way to play this match because of the difficulty of this situation.”