SUNDERLAND boss Gus Poyet admitted his compatriot Luis Suarez would be delighted after the Black Cats’ 2-2 draw at Manchester City handed Liverpool a huge boost in their title charge.
City needed a late equaliser by Samir Nasri to avoid defeat by the Premier League’s bottom club, but Liverpool are now six points ahead and Chelsea four points in front though both have played a game more.
Sunderland’s survival chances remain slim but Connor Wickham’s double - his first league goals for Sunderland since October 2011 - after Fernandinho had given City an early lead keeps their hopes alive.
Sunderland now face Chelsea away at the weekend but Poyet insist they are not trying to benefit Liverpool or his fellow Uruguayan, Suarez.
Poyet said: “We are playing for ourselves - we are not playing for Liverpool. Maybe we helped them, and I am sure that Luis Suarez is going to be happy because there is one team less.”
Poyet did rue City’s late equaliser – agonising for Vito Mannone, who got a hand to the ball but saw it squirm over the line.
Poyet added: “It’s one more blow. I tell you what, I’m testing my heart this year. Every week. I’m realistic and I’m not going to change now. We played a great game and took something from it.”
Manuel Pellegrini conceded that City’s title hopes have suffered a serious blow and blamed Sunday’s defeat at Liverpool for affecting the players.
He said: “Of course the chances are less than before the match. It was very important for us to win the three points, for different reasons we couldn’t but we continue fighting to the end.
“I think we couldn’t take out of the mind the game against Liverpool and that was the consequence why the team didn’t play well.
“We needed more intensity but our mind maybe was not in the moment to do it.
“Maybe in this moment Liverpool and Chelsea have better chances than our team because we are in third position but we still continue fighting until the last game.”
Pellegrini pointed out that City had come from six points behind to win the title in 2012.
“We have to play five games more so we continue having chances, less chances than before this game, but we continue having chances,” he added.
“Remember this team two years ago were six points behind the leaders and they won the title at the end. So it is difficult but it is not the last game we play.”