Ancelotti: We are in good condition
Carlo Ancelotti has insisted Chelsea are ready for the return of Jose Mourinho and Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night. The Blues beat West Ham United 4-1 to go back to the top of the Premier League today, thanks to a brace from Didier Drogba and other goals from Alexand Florent Malouda.
Scott Parker had briefly given the Hammers hope when he cancelled out Alex’s 15th-minute opener on the half-hour mark, but the hosts ran out comfortable winners to go one point clear of Manchester United at the summit. But with Chelsea in the midst of a goalkeeping crisis as they approach the last 16, return leg, Ancelotti was keen to stress that his side, unlike Inter, were in “good condition”.
I Nerazzurri surprisingly lost to Catania last night and that, coupled with Chelsea’s latest victory, has put the English outfit in the perfect frame of mind. “I don’t think we sent a message,” said Ancelotti.
“The game is in the balance. We want to win but so do Inter. We have to do our best to win and in this moment we are in good condition to do our best. I have not seen Inter’s game yet, I will watch it on Sunday.”
Ancelotti was a little coy, though, when it came to the situation concerning his goalkeeping choice for Tuesday night’s game. Third-choice goalkeeper Ross Turnbull made his Blues debut against West Ham, and while he looked competent enough, he had little to do.
His inexperience, particularly when it comes to the Champions League, may be a concern for the former AC Milan coach. His side are without calf injury victim Petr Cech and his deputy Hilario, has a groin strain. But Chelsea may well try to rush the latter back to full fitness in time, although Ancelotti continued to maintain Turnbull will play.
“We can play with a good goalkeeper on Tuesday,” he added. “Ross was not involved a lot of time in the game but he did a good save in the last minute of the match.
“He played with confidence and a good game. There was no worry. This is important. He deserved to play this game because he trained very well in the last month to improve his quality. We have confidence in him. I think he will play Tuesday.”
After the 4-2 defeat to Manchester City at home, Ancelotti was looking for his side to bounce back in the league. They delivered the response perfectly.
“It was important to have a good reaction,” he said. “We had a good reaction against Stoke and we improved again today. We had a bad day against Manchester City but we came back the right way. It was a very good performance.”
Zola rues defensive errors
West Ham coach Gianfranco Zola said the scoreline was not a true reflection of the game but they could not recover from Chelsea’s second goal from Drogba. “It was tough after the second goal,” said the former Blues forward.
“Until then we looked ok. But the second goal was a big blow. We played well and kept the control. Scott Parker was dominating in my opinion and I thought we could have got something. But Chelsea punish you when you make mistakes.
“The result does not reflect the way the game was played. It was too much. I feel for my players because they worked hard all the game and they did not deserve that result. The first goal was poor marking and we lost our shape for the second.”