Deco's return sets Ancelotti on Double course

If Chelsea's recent revival since their Champions League exit to Internazionale could be put down to the performances of any one single player, then that would have to be the Portuguese midfielder Deco.

The 32-year-old has occupied the right side of Chelsea's three-man midfield for their last three games, all of which have been won to give the club a real chance of potentially winning the Double. His passing and movement have been integral to manager Carlo Ancelotti's desire for possession football with the emphasis on getting the ball forward quickly to feet.

Ancelotti said: "The problem with Deco was that he had a lot of injures this year and when he was fit he played every time very well. He has quality and is an important player for us. He played the right of midfield against Aston Villa and Manchester United and did very well."

Chelsea face Aston Villa today in the first FA Cup semi-final and Joe Cole is keen to make amends for his part in the club's defeat to Liverpool at the same stage four years ago. The title was already almost won when Chelsea faced Liverpool, and Cole missed a late chance to equalise in the Blues' 2-1 defeat.

Cole said: "We would have played West Ham in the final that year, so you would have fancied us to win the Double. I was disappointed because that was one of my best seasons for Chelsea. I had a great chance, the ball dropped to me five yards out and I skied it into the stands.

"You remember those things as a footballer. I remember the misses, that was the worst I ever experienced. It would be really special if we won the Double this season, only six teams have done so, but it's hard and we're a long way from doing it."

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