BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 16:26 GMT, Friday, 26 March 2010

Ancelotti seeks Chelsea advantage over title rivals


European exit could benefit Chelsea - Ancelotti

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti says their Champions League exit may help them win the Premier League this season.

The Blues went out of Europe in the last 16 to Inter Milan and lie second in the league, a point ahead of Arsenal and a point behind Manchester United.

Chelsea's rivals are both still in the Champions League and Ancelotti said: "We are disappointed to be out of the Europe, but it could be an advantage.

"The quarter-finals use a lot of energy - not only physically but mentally."

United, who visit Bolton on Saturday, face Bayern Munich in their quarter-final contest in Europe, with the first match away in Germany on Tuesday only four days before they meet Chelsea at Old Trafford in a crucial league fixture.

I've said it a few times and maybe I could be right this time - goal difference could be important at the end of the season

Sir Alex Ferguson

Arsenal face Barcelona on Wednesday in their quarter-final first leg, sandwiched inbetween league games at Birmingham and at home to Wolves.

Ancelotti added: "Mentally, it wasn't good for us to go out of the Champions League.

"But after the [5-0] victory at Portsmouth, this moment is finished. We have to look at every game. We play Aston Villa on Saturday and then have a week to prepare for Manchester United.

"Before, we would have had a midweek game, so this could prove an advantage if we prepare well for our own games and if we play with a good high tempo.

"At this moment in the season to have one more point or one less point is not so important. Every team - Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea - needs to win their games. If you are in good condition, mental and physical, you can win.

"So it's not more important to have one more or one less point. It's important to stay fit and have optimism and confidence to win the game."

As well as facing Chelsea next weekend, United must also contest a derby match against Manchester City, as well as a home game against fourth-place contenders Tottenham, after the second leg against Bayern on 7 April.

Chelsea face Spurs as well as Liverpool in their remaining matches, while Arsenal have the easier of run-ins of the three title contenders.

However, Ferguson believes a lapse of concentration at such a crucial stage could wipe out any remaining advantage.

"On paper Arsenal have the easier run in, but only on paper," said the Scot. "At this time of the season I'm not sure that works, whether it means anything at all.


"At the end of the day you can drop a couple of points like Chelsea did at Blackburn on Sunday.

"At this time of year losing points can be damaging. I think there will be some points dropped, but you have to make sure you don't drop as many as the other two.

"Chelsea's win the other night brings their goal difference to the same as ours and the goal difference could be important at the end of the season.

"I have said it a few times over the years and you get one of those feelings that maybe I'm going to be right this time."

Meanwhile, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hailed his side's resilience as they push for their third Premier League title.

"We just have to keep the spirit, the hunger, the desire, and the intelligence we have shown until now," said the Frenchman.

"For a long time we have fixed ourselves targets, that is to play every game like our lives depend on it. We need to bring consistency to our attitude.

"We have a remarkable attitude, we have a remarkable spirit in the team, and we just need to continue like we do."

Print Sponsor

Premier League table
Sunday, 3 November 2013 17:56 UK
    P GD PTS
1 Arsenal 10 13 25
2 Chelsea 10 8 20
3 Liverpool 10 7 20
4 Tottenham 10 4 20

5 Man City 10 17 19

6 Southampton 10 7 19
7 Everton 10 4 19
8 Man Utd 10 4 17
9 Newcastle 10 -2 14
10 Hull City 10 -2 14
11 West Brom 10 0 13
12 Cardiff 10 -4 12
13 Swansea 10 0 11
14 Aston Villa 10 -3 11
15 West Ham 10 0 10
16 Fulham 10 -5 10
17 Stoke 10 -4 9

18 Norwich 10 -14 8
19 Sunderland 10 -15 4
20 Crystal Palace 10 -15 3

see also
Birmingham 1-1 Arsenal
27 Mar 10 |  Premier League
Bolton 0-4 Man Utd
27 Mar 10 |  Premier League
Chelsea 7-1 Aston Villa
27 Mar 10 |  Premier League
Portsmouth 0-5 Chelsea
24 Mar 10 |  Premier League
Chelsea's Ivanovic out for month
23 Mar 10 |  Chelsea
Man Utd 2-1 Liverpool
21 Mar 10 |  Premier League
United have the experience - Park
22 Mar 10 |  Man Utd
Arsenal 2-0 West Ham
20 Mar 10 |  Premier League
We can win the title, says Wenger
20 Mar 10 |  Arsenal

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.