APOEL NICOSIA 0-1 CHELSEA

Ancelotti rages at poor Chelsea performance

September 30, 2009

Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti admitted he was far from happy with his team's performance in their uninspiring 1-0 Champions League win over unfancied Apoel Nicosia.

Chelsea
GettyImagesChelsea players celebrate their opener

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Nicolas Anelka's 18th-minute goal gave Chelsea an undeserved Group D victory in Cyprus as Ancelotti's side produced another disappointing performance.

The Italian coach had wanted a big reaction from his team following their 3-1 defeat by Wigan last Saturday, but he failed to get it and was clearly not satisfied. "It was a good result but perhaps not a good performance,'' said Ancelotti.

"We started with good control, scored a goal and we had opportunities to do quick counter-attacks after that, but we didn't do this. In the second half it was different. We tried to control the game with possession, but we made a lot of mistakes. Nicosia played very well in the second-half and deserved to draw this game. This is football.

"I'm not satisfied. I wanted Chelsea to play better and to take more control, to play with courage. But I think that, in this moment of the season, it's normal. We have to change, for sure. We have to play better. In the first half, the team showed good application of the system and of their defensive duties.

"We took good control in defensive positions, but the second half was totally different. We lost a lot of balls. We allowed Nicosia to get back into the game. But I have a lot of faith in this team and these players. I was a player for a lot of years myself, and I know when things don't go well. The only thing is that I'd like Chelsea to play better than we did today.''

Reflecting on one of the positives to come from the night's work, he said: "Anelka is scoring at a good time, and that's important. He moved very well out there, not only in scoring but in front of our attack. This is good.''

But with title rivals Liverpool up next this weekend, Ancelotti pledged his side would put on a much better display. "We have time to rest and to prepare well for this important game,'' he added. "We will not play like we did today. We will play better, for sure.''

Captain John Terry added: "The confidence wasn't knocked at Wigan - you can't afford not to believe in yourselves or your team-mates. It was important that we realised we went wrong at Wigan and that we responded well. You don't get much time to think about it with the games coming thick and fast, and we did a good job here.

"We responded well here. We're top of the group with six points from two games, in a good position, and now we go back to the Premier League for the Liverpool game on Sunday. We have to be better against Liverpool. They will be up for it and they are a big club so we will have to respond again when we play them.''

Apoel coach Ivan Jovanovic said his side lost the game before half-time. "I want to congratulate Chelsea on their win,'' said Jovanovic. "It was easy for Chelsea in the first-half. They scored and then they controlled the game. We played well in the second-half and are satisfied with the way the team played. But we wasted a lot of possession in the first-half but could not get a goal in the second.''