Essien can now lead us to the Treble, claims Chelsea forward Malouda
16 March 2009 11:52
Florent Malouda claims Michael Essien holds the key to Chelsea's battle for silverware on three fronts.
The Blues climbed to second in the Barclays Premier League with a 1-0 win over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.
Essien, making his first League start since recovering from a cruciate knee ligament injury, scored the crucial goal to cut Manchester United's lead to just four points, although Sir Alex Ferguson's side have a game in hand.
Back with a bang: Michael Essien (right) celebrates scoring against Manchester City with Chelsea team-mates Michael Ballack and John Terry
With Champions League and FA Cup engagements to come, Malouda believes his fellow midfielder can inspire the club's push for honours after their season was re-ignited by the arrival of boss Guus Hiddink.
Malouda said: 'Of course he can make the difference. We are still trying to win three titles so we know that we will have a lot of games.
'Michael has that spirit, he has worked a lot to come back. I hope he will keep on scoring, help the strikers to score and improve our game.
Blues on top: Malouda makes life difficult for City striker Robinho
'It's really important for us to see that after those months he spent working every day, to come back and be fit again is good. You can see his energy, his spirit and commitment to the team.
'He helps the game for the strikers because he keeps on running, gives good balls and yesterday he scored. He has a positive attitude and he gives a lot to the team.
'When you spend five months injured, you want to prove that the time you spent on the sidelines is not lost time. He will help all the players in the squad.'
Malouda, a second-half substitute, believes Liverpool's 4-1 at Old Trafford has given Manchester United's rivals a lift.
'There is a big hope for us because of the result on Saturday,' he said. 'That victory will give hope to the other teams that play United, because even if we win all our games we have to hope they fail and lose points.'