Carlo plays down Blues chances

Carlo plays down Blues chances

Published Nov. 24, 2010 8:57 a.m. ET

Carlo Ancelotti insists Chelsea will not win the Champions League if they continue to reproduce their first-half display against MSK Zilina.

Chelsea ensured they will finish top of Group F thanks to a 2-1 win over Zilina but they had to come from behind to beat the Slovakian minnows.

Second-half goals from Daniel Sturridge and Florent Malouda lifted the gloom over Stamford Bridge after Babatounde Bello had shocked the English champions with a 19th minute opener.

"It was a difficult game because we didn't start the game well, were 1-0 down," said Ancelotti.


"We had a good reaction in the second half, with more intensity and good play, and plenty of opportunities to score. The second half was very good.

"But if we play like we did in the first half, it's impossible to win the Champions League. If we play like we did in the second then we'll have a chance."

Ancelotti admitted he was upset at half-time and replaced the poor Gael Kakuta with Salomon Kalou.

"I was upset because we didn't play well," added the Italian.

"We were not playing well. We changed something in the second half, changed the intensity of play.

"This was the difference. We'd played too slow in the first half and gave them the opportunity to control their defensive position.

"I just wanted to play with a different system, with two wingers with Daniel Sturridge and Didier Drogba in the middle. For this reason I took out Kakuta.

"I was disappointed because this was an important game and an important moment. We wanted to win and finish first in the group.

"But we didn't play in that first half. We had no intensity or tempo. We changed things immediately in that second half and our behaviour changed.

"It was important to win and move on quickly. To look at the performance in the second half. Also, for the young players, it was a good experience. They played well, generally, and put in good performances for the team.

"I think Josh McEachran can play every game. He showed his quality. He was good defensively, won a lot of tackles. And, obviously, with the ball he's fantastic.

"He can play it short or long without problem. He played with personality and I'm happy with his performance. He has to grow, he has to improve, but he's ready to play."

Zilina coach Pavel Hapal admitted he was disappointed with the outcome but accepted Chelsea could have won by a bigger margin.

"We are really disappointed because our boys fought for 90 minutes and we were hoping we were going home with one point," said Hapal.

"But luck was not on our side. We had very good chances and while it was a big slap in our face to lose 7-0 to Marseille in the last round, we just did not have luck on our side tonight.

"Our players defended very well but Chelsea had many more chances than us and could have won by a bigger margin.

"But the boys are very disappointed in the dressing room because they felt they could have got something from the game.

"In the second half we had difficulties and they got a goal. Then the difficulties continued."