Everton 1-1 Chelsea

Ancelotti hails Chelsea response

January 29, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Carlo Ancelotti was pleased with the "attitude and spirit" shown by his side against Everton in the fourth round of the FA Cup, even if he was unimpressed by their performance in Saturday's 1-1 draw.

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The FA Cup holders went behind to a Louis Saha header at Goodison Park but substitute Salomon Kalou produced a composed finish to ensure that the tie will go to a replay at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have been unconvincing since November in the Premier League, slipping ten points behind leaders Manchester United, and Ancelotti was happy his team avoided an early exit from a competition they are looking to win for a third consecutive season.

"Everton put us under pressure and played good football and created chances to score, so the result is good," Ancelotti told ESPN. "It was not a good game but in general it was a good performance.

"Everton have a special kind of football, play a lot of long balls and they like to fight in the box on set-pieces. But we showed a good attitude and spirit even though we did not play well. We have to look forward now as we have very important games in the future."

Regarding Chelsea's chances of signing Fernando Torres, who has seen a transfer request denied by Liverpool following a failed bid from the Blues, Ancelotti said: "I don't know, we will have to wait."

Everton skipper Phil Neville said he was frustrated to have let a one-goal lead slip against last season's Double-winners.

He told ESPN: "We had all the play and possession and we are disappointed. We have played well against the top teams but we have to produce that sort of performance in the replay because that will be a very tough test.

"The manager wanted more energy, to play at our tempo and get the ball forward with Saha up front. He caused them a lot of problems and we are really disappointed to concede that goal. But a couple of years ago [when Everton went on to reach the final] we beat Liverpool in a replay and we have to do it again.''

Everton manager David Moyes felt Michael Essien's block as Seamus Coleman looked set to score was the key moment of the game.

"When you get the chance at home you want to take it,'' he said. "We limited them to few opportunities and the turning point was the Coleman header and the last-ditch tackle that kept them in the game.

"Their goal was against the run of play, we had control in the second half and I thought the boys played well today. I thought we had more chances in the second half, we were well organised and I didn't think we would concede a goal.''