Carlo Ancelotti hailed Nicolas Anelka and Yury Zhirkov after their goals helped the Blues secure a 2-0 win against Spartak Moscow. The clash was touted as a potential top place decider with both sides heading into the match on six points and Zhirkov was able to prove a point to his critics whilst Anelka scored his 50th goal for the club. Ancelotti paid tribute to the first-half goalscorers, declaring: “It was not an easy game because Spartak, above all in the second half, played well. But we established good control in that first half, scoring two goals, and then controlled it defensively in the second. It was an important moment for Yury, coming back to play for Chelsea in Russia. He scored a fantastic goal and will be very happy. Anelka showed his qualities and ability to play in front. He’s comfortable playing up there when there’s no Didier Drogba.” The Blues boss, however, warned that his team needed to stay focused: “We are not in the last 16 yet. We have to play three games and must do our best in those matches. We have to stay focused about the next game. We want to finish in first place. That’s our aim.”
Spartak boss: Players were scared.
Spartak Moscow coach Valery Karpin admitted that Chelsea had left his side running scared. According to the Telegraph , he revealed that at half time his players were afraid to play the Blues: “After I spoke to the players in the dressing room I realised they were a bit afraid to play Chelsea in the second half. We lost this game because we lost the first half psychologically. We came out fighting in the second half but it wasn’t enough.”
Karpin, however, added that his side would be ready for the return match and Stamford Bridge and he also confirmed that the Russians had tried to sign goalscorer Yury Zhirkov over the summer.
Blues to make Rooney move.
Goal.com reports that Roman Abramovich has given Carlo Ancelotti the green light to make a move for Wayne Rooney. Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed yesterday that the Manchester United striker wants to leave and he has been heavily linked with Manchester City who are reportedly ready to offer him £250,000 a week.
The Daily Mail suggests that Chelsea would be willing to match the player terms but they are only ready to offer £20m to secure his services, far less than what City are supposedly set to bid. Ancelotti, however, admitted last night that he wants to distance himself from any speculation regarding Rooney and he stated: “I think that I have to answer this question for a lot of time in the future. I want to be clear, I don’t like that some coaches speak about my players and I don’t want to do the same. I have respect for Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson, it is their problem and I don’t want to speak about this.”
Pastore happy in Italy.
According to Sport.co.uk, Javier Pastore has warned his Premier League suitors that he is happy in Italy. The Palermo midfielder, dubbed the ‘Argentine Kaka’, has interested Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City whilst Barcelona have reportedly enquired with a £35m bid.
Pastore has made a great start to the Serie A season, scoring four goals in seven appearances, and he admitted that he is keen to stay put: “Despite all the recent transfer market rumours and speculation about my near future, I would like to stay at Palermo for at least two more seasons. I am still young and I need to improve as a player. I am really happy at Palermo and I am enjoying our season. I hope my team-mates and I keep doing well until June. This is only my second season in Italy. Last year, I had a hard time learning Italian and getting used to a very competitive league like Serie A. Fortunately, the club and my team mates helped me a lot.”