Ancelotti keeping Torres for City

17 March 2011 07:30

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti insists the only reason Fernando Torres started on the bench against FC Copenhagen on Wednesday night was to keep him fresh for Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with Manchester City.

Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka were chosen ahead of the Spaniard, who is yet to find the net in six appearances for the Blues, as Chelsea eked out a goalless draw that saw them progress past Copenhagen 2-0 on aggregate and into the Champions League quarter-finals.

"The players not involved from the beginning will play on Sunday," he said. "I wanted to maintain the players fresh and with good motivation. If we want to achieve something, we'll need all the players with good motivation."

Torres came off the bench midway through the second half to replace Anelka.

Ancelotti added: "The only reason (he didn't start) is that we will have these players - (Michael) Essien, (Florent) Malouda and Torres - fresh for City."

Chelsea fans will be hoping for a much-improved performance when the side travel to Eastlands, having seen the Blues fail to net with any of their 25 shots against the Danish champions. Ramires and Anelka were rare shining lights in the tie, although Ancelotti insists no performances changed his mind about who to start this weekend.

"No, absolutely not," he responded when asked. "I'd already decided the selection to play against City.

"The atmosphere now is really good. After Copenhagen, everything was okay. The performances were good and the injured players are coming back in good condition. Maybe on Friday we'll have all the squad training. This is important for us to do 100% of our possibilities.

"If all these players give 100%, we have a lot of chances of arriving in the final stages. To maintain this we have to try to win every game. We have to pay attention.

"Sunday will be very important for us, for City - a very difficult game for both teams. We have to be ready to try to win."

Source: PA