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Carlo Ancelotti wants Chelsea to top European group

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Chelsea played well - Ancelotti

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti insists they will go all out to ensure top spot in their Champions League group after virtually guaranteeing a last 16 spot.

A superb 2-0 win at Spartak Moscow on Tuesday means the Blues now need only one point from three games to qualify.

But Ancelotti is adamant he will not start resting players or experimenting.

"We have to stay focused about the next game. We want to finish in first place. The Champions League is important every time you play," said the Italian.

Missing top scorer Didier Drogba and midfield talisman Frank Lampard, the Premier League champions won in convincing style in Moscow thanks to first-half goals from Yuri Zhirkov and Nicolas Anelka.

Chelsea also fielded an inexperienced substitutes' bench in Russia but Ancelotti says he will not necessarily call on the club's youngsters in the remaining matches against Spartak Moscow, Marseille and MSK Zilina, despite their comfortable position atop Group F.

"We will have the possibility to do this [qualify in first position with a win over Spartak in the next match], but it doesn't mean we have to rest the other players," he said.

Ancelotti, who confirmed that Drogba should be fully recovered from a virus in time to feature against Wolves at the weekend, stressed that he was very happy with the club's display in Moscow.

"We played a good game," added Ancelotti. "It was not easy because Spartak, above all in the second half, played well.

"But we established good control in that first half, scoring two goals, and then controlled it defensively in the second.

"We played well at the back, above all Petr Cech, who made some fantastic saves."

Chelsea lost on penalties to Manchester United in the 2008 Champions League final in the same Luzhniki Stadium, but Ancelotti - who was taking part in his 100th Champions League match - insisted his players did not think about it.

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"They were focused on this game. It was an important moment for Yuri [Zhirkov], coming back to play for Chelsea in Russia," said the manager.

"He scored a fantastic goal and will be very happy. He was very good. He played very well and doesn't have a problem playing either left-back or on the left of midfield.

"Anelka showed his qualities and his ability to play in front. He's comfortable playing up when there's no Didier Drogba. He's a fantastic player and can play in all the positions across that front line."

Anelka added: "We have a big squad with big players. Even with a lot of players we are capable of winning games.

"There was no psychological effect. I wasn't thinking about what happened two years ago."



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see also
Spartak Moscow 0-2 Chelsea
19 Oct 10 |  Europe
Rooney 'welcome' at Chelsea - Anelka
19 Oct 10 |  Chelsea
Tuesday's football photos
19 Oct 10 |  Football
Tuesday football as it happened
19 Oct 10 |  Football
Chelsea 2-0 Marseille
28 Sep 10 |  Europe


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