Ancelotti satisfied with Blues showing

Published Jan. 16, 2011 1:08 p.m. EST

Carlo Ancelotti believes Chelsea can finally consider their bad run over if they follow up the win over Blackburn with another against Bolton.

The champions ended a sequence of one victory in nine with arguably their best performance for more than two months, winning 2-0 to haul themselves back into the top four.

But just as after Sunday's FA Cup third-round thrashing of Ipswich, Ancelotti refused to get carried away with the result, insisting his side needed to record an away win to demonstrate their slump was at an end.

"I think a good support for us for these two games was to play at home," he said.


"Now we have to check also away in the next game against Bolton."

The performance was still some way below the level Chelsea were showing at the start of the season, when they threatened to sweep all before them, but it was another step in the right direction.

Ancelotti added: "We are not at the same level but we will come back to play at the same level.

"We don't need to have a lot of time to come back.

"It will be very important the next game against Bolton because we can say definitely that the moment is gone.

"If the moment is gone, I think that we will be stronger."

Chelsea were let down by their final ball in the first half and both their goals came from corners, with Branislav Ivanovic and Nicolas Anelka punishing slack defending.

Ancelotti said: "If I have to judge the performance today, I can say it was good.

"We could score before the first goal of Ivanovic, we could score in the first half. But our play was good, more intensity, more quality."

He added: "It was important also for us to score on the set pieces.

"We had a lot of opportunities today. Ivanovic is very good with his head, he scored in an important moment.

"After the first goal, the team played a good game.

"Obviously, we want to score with good play, with good football. But also we have to use the set-pieces because I think we have dangerous players in the set-pieces."

It was that which determined Ancelotti's selection policy, with Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda, Michael Essien and Ashley Cole all recalled.

"We needed to have more size," Ancelotti said.

"I knew that Blackburn could use long balls and set-pieces.

"So I wanted to have power in the box. For this reason, Essien and Drogba started the game."

Ancelotti, who refused to discuss the club's move for Steven Pienaar, which has stalled due to the Everton midfielder's wage demands, also insisted he never felt his job had been on the line in recent weeks.

"I didn't have a doubt before, also when we lost the games because the support of my club was very close to me and the players," he said.

Blackburn boss Steve Kean questioned the legitimacy of Chelsea's opening goal.

"We're disappointed because normally we're very, very good at defending set plays," he said.

"We felt that they were sloppy by our standards. We felt there might have been a little bit of a foul on Junior Hoilett just before the corner that led to the first goal.

"But even taking that aside, we're normally aggressive on the first phase of our defending so I'm disappointed with the goals that we lost."

Despite Chelsea twice hitting the post, Blackburn arguably had the best chance of the first half when Hoilett forced a fine stop from Petr Cech.

"I thought it was a world-class save from Petr Cech," said Kean, who lost midfielder David Dunn to a hamstring strain early on.

Roque Santa Cruz also came off the bench for his second Blackburn debut at the start of the second half following Friday's move from Manchester City.

"He's not played so many minutes, as everybody knows," said Kean.

"But I felt he showed great quality when he came on."