FOOTBALL : Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti wants his side to take a leaf out of Liverpool’s book and give Manchester United’s midfield no time to settle at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti wants his side to take a leaf out of Liverpool’s book and give Manchester United’s midfield no time to settle at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Liverpool defeated United at Anfield two weeks ago with a performance full of gritty determination and a high work-rate and now Ancelotti – whose side lead United by two points at the top of the Barclays Premier League – claims the Blues must match Liverpool’s workmanlike ethic in order to overcome Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
“Liverpool played a fantastic match, a strong match, and put a lot of pressure on the pitch,” said Ancelotti. “That’s why they won. They didn’t give United any possibility to play like they want to play. It was a good lesson for us because Manchester can suffer when there’s pressure on their midfielders.”
He added: “I don’t want to play against other team’s weaknesses. We want to put our own qualities on the pitch.
“He (Ferguson) did a fantastic job with this team. For a coach to stay such a long time with one team is very difficult, not only in England but everywhere.
“In Italy it would be impossible, for sure. He’s a very important man for the history of this club. United have a fantastic history and Ferguson is one of the most important men in this history.”
Ancelotti is no stranger to beating Ferguson, including a second-leg victory against United with AC Milan in the Champions League in 2007.
“There was a particular atmosphere created after the first match because we lost the first leg in the last minute at United and I think that goal forced my team to play in a more attacking style from the start of the game,” explained Ancelotti.
“At the same time, United thought about defending. After 15 minutes we were 2-0 up. We created a particular atmosphere.
“The best thing is to maintain a balance. They have a good defence but also fantastic strikers. Wayne Rooney is one of the most intelligent strikers in the world, so we have to think about him. He has the quality to play everywhere.”