Ancelotti: 'We have the best strikers in Europe. Fernando's display was really good'

 

Carlo Ancelotti said last night that he believes he has the best strikers in Europe to choose from after he left Didier Drogba on the bench for his team's emphatic 2-0 win over Copenhagen in the first leg of their last 16 Champions League tie.

Nicolas Anelka scored both goals and it now looks likely he and Fernando Torres will start in attack when Chelsea attempt to salvage their prospects in the Premier League title race against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge next Tuesday. Ancelotti said: "Yes, I think [we have the best strikers in Europe]. I have an opportunity to choose the players.

"We want to maintain their fitness, but rotation could do them good with the Premier League and the Champions League. They are accepting my decisions without problems, and this is important. To have them available at the moment, it's important at this time of year.

"As for Torres, I think, his performance was really good. There's a little bit of disappointment because he could have scored. But it doesn't matter. His movement with Anelka was so good.

"We have fantastic strikers. I have to make a decision about the games, to put them in or not. Didier played for two hours against Everton [on Saturday]. Torres and Anelka were fresh and, together, they played well. [Frank] Lampard also had good combination with Fernando."

The Chelsea manager said that he was not concerned at the failure of Torres to score in his first three games for the club, adding that the "movement" of Anelka and Torres had been the key to a commanding Chelsea attack in which they dominated the Danish champions, particularly in the first half.

Ancelotti said: "[Torres] doesn't have to lose confidence because he didn't score. He played very well for the team, with good combinations, and I'm happy. It doesn't matter if he didn't score.

"Fernando, obviously needs to take time to know our football. He's doing better game by game. If he doesn't score, it isn't a problem. Anelka was able to score and Torres had a lot of opportunities that he created with his movement. He will score in the next game."

Ancelotti was reluctant to say that Chelsea had turned the corner after a run of only seven wins in 20 games. He compared the result to when his Milan team narrowly got past Celtic 1-0 on aggregate in their run to the Champions League final in 2007, which they won.

"I don't want to say. I've suggested once or twice before that [the bad run has ended] ," Ancelotti said. "But we had a lot of motivation for this game, but now we have to continue it. United will be a fantastic opportunity for us to maintain the same level of football.

"Copenhagen tried to press, but we played quickly in front to avoid their pressing. That was good. When I said we played with intelligence, it was for this reason. We didn't give them the opportunity to press.

"We are still alive. I had an idea before the game [that Chelsea's season was not over], and I maintain the same idea now. We are not dead. It's just one game, though. I want to see my team play like that again, again, again."

The 3-1 defeat for Tottenham Hotspur to Blackpool last night was also good news for Chelsea in their effort to get back into the top four of the Premier League to qualify for next season's Champions League. Ancelotti said: "We don't have to be happy for Tottenham's defeat, but it was good news for us. This was the first half of this game [against Copenhagen]. Now we have to play against United and try and put in the same performance as we did against [Copenhagen]."



News
Disruption at Waterloo after a person was hit by a train
newsCancellations and disrupted service after person hit by train
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
The almost deserted Liverpool Echo Arena on Monday
tvCan X Factor last in the face of plummeting numbers auditioning
News
Kirsty Bertarelli is launching a singing career with an album of songs detailing her observations of “real life”
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence