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]."



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
education
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London