Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Anelka 'in best form of his life'


Ancelotti has eye on Wembley final

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti believes Nicolas Anelka is in the form of his life after he helped the Blues reach the Champions League knockout stages.

A 4-1 win over Spartak Moscow, sparked by Anelka's second-half strike, ensured Chelsea's qualification from Group F with two group games left to play.

And Ancelotti said: "Anelka was the key to opening up the game. He scored a fantastic, vital goal.

"Overall I believe that he is in the best moment of his career."

The win continued Chelsea's 100% record in this season's Champions League to go alongside their impressive Premier League form - which has seen them win 25 points from 10 games.

And Ancelotti believes there is no reason why Anelka cannot help fire Chelsea to glory on both fronts this season.

"He [Anelka] has experience," stated the Italian. "He maintains very good skill, ability, and speed.

"There will be a long race getting to the final.

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"When you reach the first aim, which is to win the group, the next aim is to reach the final, and then to win that.

"I don't know if we can do this, but we have a possibility. We have the motivation to do this, but sometimes you have to be lucky also."

The victory also made it 22 Champions League group-stage matches unbeaten at Stamford Bridge.

Didier Drogba, in his first European appearance of the season following injury and suspension, made a welcome goalscoring return to add to two goals from Branislav Ivanovic.

It was a typically clinical display from Chelsea, who already have one eye on next May's final at Wembley.

"We are working to play the last game at Wembley, in the final," added Ancelotti.

"It is important to start well and it's still important to finish in first place in this group. But I think that the decisive time for the Champions League is in February and March. Then we have to be ready. Now we're in a good moment and we're hoping to avoid injury and keep people fit.


"Every one of us has motivation. There are a lot of things to think about - a final in London and the fact that no London team has won the Champions League. I think that helps to improve the motivation.

"It is the same for all of us. I'm not English. I'm working for Chelsea and have a particular feeling for this club. If there is a final, it's an extra motivation for everyone, not just the English players."

Spartak manager Valery Karpin, meanwhile, still believes his side can qualify for the knockout phase as runners-up to Chelsea.

"Nothing has changed in terms of our chances of getting out of the group," said Karpin. "If we win our last two games, we will qualify.

"When you're losing 4-1, there's not much joy in having scored at Stamford Bridge. It would only have been significant if the score had been 0-0 at the time.

"The main positive was us gaining experience. We have a young team and they've played one of the best teams in Europe, maybe one of the best in the world.

"These players can look up to the best players in the world and see how technical they are, how well they can play, and benchmark themselves against them."

Potenshöjande medel -

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