Ancelotti: I wouldn't swap Drogba for anyone
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti was a happy man after seeing his side secure a place in the last 16 of the Champions League even though the Blues could not continue their perfect record in Group D against Atletico Madrid.
Chelsea had looked on course to make it four wins out of four when Didier Drogba struck in the 82nd and 88th minutes to cancel out Sergio Aguero's opener for Atletico. However, Chelsea would end up having to settle for a draw as Aguero curled home a brilliant injury-time free-kick to level the scores up at 2-2.
Aguero's double strike were the first goals Chelsea have conceded in the group stages and also meant the Blues dropped their first points, but Ancelotti preferred to look at the positives.
When asked if he was frustrated not to have won, the Italian said: "No frustration. It's not great to concede a goal in the last minute, but that can happen. We are in the next phase of the Champions League and this is important with two matches still to take place.
"That was a difficult match because Atletico played very well and I think the result is good. They put a lot of pressure on us in first half but I think we did well - not the best but it was good.''
Drogba earned the headlines on his return to European action after serving a three-match suspension following an incident in last year's semi-final against Barcelona.
He was handed the ban due to a foul-mouthed confrontation with Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo at the end of the second leg after Chelsea had exited the competition.
The in-form striker, who has scored nine goals in the Premier League already this season, returned in style tonight though and Ancelotti was full of praise for the Ivory Coast international.
"Didier is an important player for us. We have a lot of important players but he is doing very well and we are happy,'' said Ancelotti. "He was motivated at the start of the season and has been doing very well and continues to do very well, and I hope he can play in other games like he did tonight,'' said Ancelotti, whose side face a huge match with Manchester United this weekend.
"He is in a good moment, I'm very happy. I hope he can continue.'' When asked if he was currently the best striker in the world, Ancelotti replied: "I want to keep him and I don't to change him with another striker.''
While Chelsea celebrate a place in the next stage of the Champions League, Atletico must turn their attentions to trying to guarantee themselves a place in the Europa League as a top two spot is now beyond them.
Considering their dismal start to the season both domestically and in Europe though, new Atletico coach Quique Sanchez Flores was able to take plenty of plusses from the match. "Of course it was very important (to draw), we played a good match, we didn't lose,'' said Sanchez Flores, who took over at Atletico after Abel Resino was sacked following the first meeting with Chelsea a fortnight ago.
"We led until the 82nd minute. It wasn't a victory but it showed the way forward. The team played well, played to win, they wanted to win, but given the circumstances the result is not bad. The team is at a turning point, and we can take positive conclusions from the game,'' added the Atletico coach, whose side face bitter rivals Real Madrid in the Primera Division this weekend.