Ancelotti relishing Torres dilemma
Fernando Torres is in line to make his Chelsea debut against former club Liverpool on Sunday.
The 26-year-old Spain international, who completed a sensational £50million move to Stamford Bridge late on Monday night, will be assessed over the next two days, but barring any unforeseen problems, could enjoy an early reunion with his former team-mates.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti, speaking after Tuesday evening's 4-2 Barclays Premier League victory at Sunderland, said: "We have to test him tomorrow and the next day and if he has no problem, he can play on Sunday against Liverpool.
"But I think he has no problem because he played the last game with Liverpool and played well."
Ancelotti could be forgiven for licking his lips at a team including Torres, Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, who played in a slightly withdrawn role to great effect on Wearside in the same team, although he will have no qualms about fielding all three men.
He said: "I know very well that he is not a goalkeeper, he is not a defender, he is not a midfielder - he is a striker and he will play as a striker.
"He doesn't have a problem to play with Drogba or with another striker. Maybe we will have to play with two strikers together, but that's not a problem. It doesn't change a lot.
"Maybe with a diamond in midfield, our shape doesn't change too much."
Chelsea did not need the firepower Torres will bring at the Stadium of Light, but they could have done with his new team-mate David Luiz, the former Benfica defender, in the opening 45 minutes.
The evening had started so promisingly for Sunderland when, with the visitors inexplicably backing off him, left-back Phil Bardsley surged upfield, cut inside and thumped a swerving fourth-minute shot past Petr Cech.
But within 19 minutes, Chelsea were in front, Frank Lampard converting a penalty after Ahmed Elmohamady had mauled Ashley Cole and Salomon Kalou beating the advancing Craig Gordon with ease from Anelka's slide-rule pass.
Kieran Richardson's free-kick levelled the scores before the break, but John Terry's strike on the hour looked like winning the game until Anelka rounded off an impressive individual display with a deft injury-time finish.
Chelsea hit the woodwork three times and Gordon made a string of fine saves to limit the margin of a deserved victory.
However, they remain 10 points adrift of leaders Manchester United and Ancelotti admitted the gap will be difficult to close.
He said: "It doesn't depend on us because if Manchester United continue their run, it's difficult to close the gap."
Opposite number Steve Bruce, who handed a debut to new signing Stephane Sessegnon with Sulley Muntari watching from the stands after completing the relevant paperwork to seal his move, was left to reflect on expensive errors at the back.
He said: "Hey, listen, we all know they are a fantastic team and they look like Chelsea again, don't they?
"The disappointing thing for me, for how well they played, was the bad goals we gave a way: a bad penalty; a bad second goal; the third goal, we should be doing better; the fourth goal, we missed a challenge on the edge of the box.
"The one reason why we are sitting where we are sitting in the table at the moment is we haven't really made elementary mistakes like that."
Bruce was an interested bystander as the transfer window drew to a close, and he admitted he was stunned by the late drama involving Torres and Andy Carroll.
He said: "I was quite surprised. I went home at 4pm and I went to the pictures to watch The King's Speech.
"When I came out, I nearly had a stutter as well."