Carlo Ancelotti defends Fernando Torres selection

01 May 2011 04:51
Carlo Ancelotti has insisted his blunder in picking Fernando Torres for Chelsea's Champions League defeat at Manchester United would have no impact on his team selection for Sunday's must-win Barclays Premier League clash at Old Trafford.

Chelsea remain in the title race after a fortunate 2-1 win over Tottenham yesterday, with Frank Lampard's equaliser given despite the whole of the ball appearing not to cross the line.

Got my vote: Torres (centre) is expected to start against United following his recent return to form

Ancelotti admitted he made a mistake by selecting Torres against United earlier this month, a move which backfired as the Blues crashed out of Europe.

The Spaniard was relegated to the bench for the next three games and Chelsea duly rediscovered top form, with Didier Drogba running amok.

But after watching Torres finally score his first goal for the club in last week's win over West Ham, Ancelotti decided to gamble again by recalling the ?50million striker against Spurs.

The results were debatable, with Torres struggling to get in behind the Spurs defence and Drogba subdued on the right-hand side of a three-man attack until Ancelotti abandoned the experiment just past the hour mark.

Reason to cheer: Torres and Drogba (right) are expected to continue leading the Chelsea attack

Chelsea were rewarded with the luckiest of 2-1 victories - Salomon Kalou possibly offside when scoring the late winner - to extend their run to eight wins and a draw from the last nine league games and keeping their title hopes alive.

But Ancelotti claimed he would ignore the evidence of yesterday and events at Old Trafford almost three weeks earlier when picking his side next Sunday.

'To make a decision about the line-up, I have to forget the past.

'I have to look at the next training session.

'It's important to have players in good form, in good condition. If we want to win there, we have to use intensity.'

In with a a shout: Kalou (centre) scores Chelsea's vital winner against Tottenham

Harmony? Terry has rebuffed claims of unrest in the Chelsea dressing room

Ancelotti denied recalling Torres had disrupted Chelsea's attack, which had been looking so effective with Drogba flanked by Salomon Kalou and Florent Malouda.

'I think that the problem was not the position of Fernando.

'The first 20 minutes were good, Fernando was involved.

'After that we had more difficulties to pass the ball to him. But his performance individually was good and Didier also sacrificed a bit because he played a little bit behind him, but he played for the team.'

Any unhappiness Drogba may have felt about being played out of position was nothing compared to that of substitute Kalou, who could not even bring himself to celebrate his 89th-minute winner after being dropped for Torres.

Captain John Terry played down any talk of a rift, saying: 'No arguing amongst the players, no disappointments.

'We understand it's a team game and they've all got so much to give to this team. That could be key.'

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Source: Daily_Mail