Under-pressure Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti saw cause for encouragement during his side’s 2-0 Champions League win over Copenhagen.
English Premier League champions Chelsea have struggled for consistency this season – they are 12 points off the pace in their title defence and surrendered the FA Cup with a penalty shootout defeat at home to Everton on Saturday.
Chelsea face Wigan on Saturday ahead of a challenging match against league-leaders Manchester United on Tuesday, but Ancelotti believes some confidence has been restored with a comfortable 2-0 win over Danish champions Copenhagen in the Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday.
“It was good result, a good performance,” Ancelotti said.
“We were focused for this game, prepared well and the mindset was good. My players worked hard and played good football.”
“The result is good but it’s just the first half and we have to pay attention to the second leg. We are focused because we want to be the best.”
“We have to be able to move on quickly after the bad results and we were able to because we played some really good football: we have to continue to stay focused.”
Expensive striker Fernando Torres showed glimpses of promise but is yet to break his Chelsea duck, leaving Frenchman Nicolas Anelka to pick up the slack with both goals at the Parken Stadion.
“Anelka did a fantastic job and scored two goals,” Ancelotti said.
“Torres did very well because the key to the game was the work of the strikers. He was always dangerous and unlucky he didn’t score but he played a fantastic game.”
“If we are able to maintain the same level we have a chance to win against Manchester United.”
Copenhagen coach Stale Solbakken admitted that the odds were now stacked against his team progressing to the quarter-finals.
“It will be extremely difficult to go on in the competition now, particularly with Zdenek Pospech suspended,” Solbakken said.
“Too many of my most prominent players failed to hit their peak: they did OK, but were not at their very best. Furthermore, we made too many mistakes and hit too many inaccurate passes.”
“We lost to a better team. Based on the possession and opportunities, the result was well deserved. Maybe we were a bit too optimistic about our chances before the game. We had some problems with Chelsea’s pace at certain points, but that was to be expected.”