Manchester United 2-1 (3-1 agg) Chelsea

Ancelotti hints at Torres error

April 13, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Carlo Ancelotti admitted his future at Chelsea is out of his hands and that starting misfiring £50 million striker Fernando Torres against Manchester United may have been a mistake.

Ancelotti hints at error

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United marched on to the Champions League semi-finals with a 3-1 aggregate win after goals from Javier Hernandez and Park Ji-sung at Old Trafford made Didier Drogba's goal redundant.

Ancelotti gambled by starting Torres and leaving Drogba on the bench, even though Torres had not scored in 817 minutes and 13 matches for club and country. Torres suffered a torrid first 45 minutes and was replaced at half-time by Drogba, who scored late in the second half.

When asked if it had been a mistake to start with Torres, Ancelotti said: "Maybe. Could be. I told you a lot of times this season I wanted to start with Fernando for this kind of game, these type of tactics.

"Didier played well in the second half. I wanted to put more pressure up front because we needed to score. Didier was fresh and he could use his power up front. This was the reason I took out Fernando.''

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, however, was in no doubt that it was the huge fee Chelsea splashed out for Torres in January which forced Ancelotti's hand.

Ferguson said: "A lot of people thought Drogba would play. I thought having signed Torres for the money they did they had to play him. I wasn't 100% sure but I couldn't see how they could leave Torres out.''

Ferguson, however, insisted he was not criticising Chelsea for signing Torres.

"They had the opportunity to sign Torres and I don't think anyone would have turned it down,'' Ferguson said. "Everyone said at the time it was fantastic business. You can't criticise him (Ancelotti) for that, it was a good signing. It isn't working at the moment but he is a young man and there are other seasons ahead.''

Ancelotti will now be under pressure to make sure Chelsea win Premier League games to qualify for the Champions League again.

He said: "We have to look forward. We have games to play and to win if possible because obviously we want to play the Champions League the next season.''

On his own future Ancelotti said: "I'm not concerned. I have to work and try to do my best, It is not my decision to stay or not to stay here.''