Carlo ready for Rafa

03 October 2009 09:15
Carlo Ancelotti and Rafa Benitez are both relishing meeting for the first time since their UEFA Champions League final clashes of 2005 and 2007. The two face each other for the first time since 2007 when AC Milan claimed revenge for their 2005 defeat by beating Liverpool. It will also be the first time that Ancelotti has faced a fellow top-four manager since taking charge at Stamford Bridge. But the Italian is in jovial mood ahead of the SuperSunday clash - which you can see live on Sky Sports 1 & HD1. "I don't remember 2005 but I can remember 2007. Rafa only remembers 2005!" joked Ancelotti. "There is no pain in those memories. A difficult moment can teach you to improve. "We lost an unbelievable game (in 2005) - it was one of the best matches for me when I was at AC Milan. "It will remain a memory - not a positive one, but not a negative one either. "It was fantastic for us to have revenge against Liverpool in 2007. We were sure we would win. The score is level between us now." Ancelotti is full of admiration for Benitez's Liverpool, claiming their style is akin to something in Serie A. "Rafa's teams are well organised, especially defensively, and they work very hard to win the ball. I like this kind of work," he sid. "Liverpool are very hard to play against. I think Rafa has looked at a lot of matches in the Italian league. "At AC Milan it was very hard to beat Liverpool because they don't concede opportunities in defence. I hope it will be easier." Rafa praise Rafa Benitez was equally quick to heap praise on Ancelotti - who he considers a coaching 'magician'. "I am looking forward to seeing him again, it will be an interesting meeting and I have great respect for him," said Benitez. "He knows how to manage a top side, he had great experience at AC Milan and he is already doing a good job at Chelsea. "He has not changed too much here, maybe the shape of the team a little but the style of football is similar and the people there are happy because he is winning games." "I have a lot of respect for Ancelotti, he is a nice man and wants to win. But we do respect each other. "He has experience of working with top-class players, that is important. In Istanbul against us (in 2005) he was winning and we came back, but he was always working to change that situation. "In Athens (in 2007) it was very close, but after they scored he was on top of things. As a manager he does not change very much, but that makes him a magician, someone who can alter very little but then produce a victory. "When he was at AC Milan, he allowed me to study his work. I have a lot of respect for Milan, his team and the way they played."

Source: SKY_Sports