Carlo puts positive spin on Chelsea Euro exit as he looks for title race edge

26 March 2010 04:55
Carlo Ancelotti insists Chelsea are ready to plunder Premier League glory from under the noses of Arsenal and Manchester United after shaking off the disappointment of their European exit.  

Chelsea's title rivals remain in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and Blues manager Ancelotti believes the physical and mental energy expended by Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson's teams could work in his own side's favour. 

Arsenal boss Wenger claimed that Chelsea's exit from Europe has already mentally affected them.  

At the double! Drogba scored twice in Chelsea's 5-0 rout of Pompey on Wednesday

Ancelotti initially agreed with the Frenchman's assessment butremains confident that Chelsea could benefit physically from Arsenaland United's continued participation in the Champions League.  

United will face Bayern Munich on Tuesday and then welcome Chelseato Old Trafford four days later, and Ancelotti is hoping to make themost of any United fatigue - either mental or physical.  

'I agree with Arsene,' said Ancelotti. 'Mentally, it wasn't good for us to go out of the Champions League.   

'But after the victory against Portsmouth, this moment is finished.We have to look at every game. We play Aston Villa tomorrow and thenhave a week to prepare for Manchester United.   

'That could be an advantage for us. Before, we had midweek games. Weare disappointed to be out of the Champions League, but it could be anadvantage. 

'The quarter-finals will take out a lot of energy, not onlyphysically but mentally. We can take advantage of that if we preparewell our own games, and if we play with good tempo, a good high tempo. 

'The pressure is the same for all the teams now. We are arrivingtowards the end of the season and every game is very important. Thepressure is normal at this stage of the season.'  

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Before they face United, Chelsea must overcome a Villa side chasinga place in the top four, who beat the Blues 2-1 earlier in the season. 

Ancelotti is determined not to let his players get too carried away with the battle looming at Old Trafford.  

Italian job! Ancelotti says Euro exit will help Blues title bid

'United will be an important game, but it's for three points,' saidAncelotti. 'We have to think about the Villa game, not the United game. 

'The last time we played Villa we lost, so we want to do differenttomorrow. For me, now, the most important game is tomorrow. Not United. 

'It's a very important test. We're playing a strong team, a team that won their last game against us. 

'At this moment in the season to have one more point or one lesspoint is not so important. Every team - Arsenal, Manchester United andChelsea - need to win their games. If you are in good condition, mentaland physical, you can win.'

Chelsea's chances of landing the title have been made all the more difficult by a growing injury situation. 

The latest casualty, defender Ricardo Carvalho, will be out for amonth but the good news is that he will not require surgery on hisdamaged ankle ligaments. 

Injury pile-up: Carvalho (right) will be out of action for a month

Ancelotti is boosted by the return of midfielder Michael Ballackfrom the Achilles injury that kept him out of the 5-0 midweek win overPortsmouth.  

'Carvalho had an injury on Wednesday and will be out maybe for four weeks, and so we are unlucky at this moment,' he added.  

'He doesn't need to have surgery. He will come to do treatment next week at the beginning of the week.'

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Source: Daily_Mail

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