Club Focus – Chelsea – The mind games begin but Carlo seems untroubled

With the countdown to arguably one of the biggest games in the Premier League this season underway, one manager has chosen not to wait until Sunday to dig into his opponents. Sir Alex Ferguson has yet again taken a jibe at Carlo Ancelotti and his team, by claiming that the Blues always get favourable decisions from referees. The Scotsman’s rant came in the aftermath of his side’s defeat at the hands of Arsenal, where he claimed his team fell victim to refereeing mistakes that cost them a point.

The surprising thing is that Ferguson chose to direct his criticism more towards Chelsea despite the fact his team were not in action against the Blues. The United manager even hinted that the Blues did not deserve to win the title last season when he claimed: “They got great decisions on Saturday (against Tottenham). They even got one to win the league at Old Trafford last season so that`s a worry. We go into these kind of games worrying about these kind of things.”

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Chelsea’s Carlo Ancelotti however chose not to indulge in a war of words and remained diplomatic. The Italian admitted Chelsea were indeed fortunate to have won against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. But the former AC Milan boss cited that football is a game with ups and downs and went on to say that his side too had also suffered from wrong decisions through the course of the season, with the most recent one being against Manchester United themselves in the Champions League. Ancelotti believes that it is all part of football and that some decisions are bound to go your way, while others will not and that they tend to even out come the end of the season.

Ferguson on the other hand seems convinced his side are being targeted and lately has taken to criticizing the match officials after almost every game in which his side loses. To fans however the most frustrating aspect of the United manager’s frequent rants is his tendency to overlook the decisions that do go in favour of his side (as was evident when Arsenal were denied a penalty on Sunday, wherein Nemanja Vidic should have been red carded for an intentional handball in the first half). When confronted with these facts Sir Alex simply turns a deaf ear and has done so quite often.

In comparison to the vibrant Scotsman, Carlo Ancelotti has always been very calm when it comes to matters of the press. The Italian seldom hits out with harsh words and prefers to let his team do the talking on the pitch, but even he will be looking forward to getting a win at Old Trafford this Sunday just so he can silence his nemesis once and for all.

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