FOOTBALL : Starting top of the table against champions Manchester United next weekend is more important to Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti than the manner of their victory over Bolton.
Starting top of the table against champions Manchester United next weekend is more important to Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti than the manner of their victory over Bolton.
Chelsea hammered 10-man Wanderers 4-0 at the Reebok stadium to secure that position at the top, four days after beating Bolton by the same score in the Carling Cup at Stamford Bridge.
Ancelotti said: “It was our aim to make sure that we were still top of the league when we play Manchester United next week. We can now play Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday with confidence and prepare for a really great match against United.”
A Frank Lampard penalty in first-half injury time set Chelsea on their way, with further efforts from Deco, Didier Drogba and a Zat Knight own goal convincingly settled the issue.
Ancelotti’s team have now won 14 of their 16 games this season in Europe, the Carling Cup and Premier League.
He added: “We accepted the criticism after losing our last two away league games at Wigan and Aston Villa, and we have responded very well.
“It was important to improve after not doing well. After the Villa game we have certainly improved and we are still top of the league.”
Ancelotti’s team were never under any real threat, despite a spirited Bolton display. He said: “I feel we are doing very well at the moment, this was a good performance.
“It was difficult in the first-half, Bolton were very strong and fought hard against our midfield. After the penalty we maintained our concentration in the second-half and won a very important match.
“We have Manchester United now next in the league, but we have an important Champions League game with Atletico Madrid first, and that is our first priority.”