Champions League - Ancelotti: We lacked precision

Thu, 17 Mar 00:35:00 2011

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti admitted his side "lacked precision" up front against Copenhagen at Stamford Bridge but remains confident about his side's Champions League chances.

- 0

The Blues were held to a goalless draw by the Danish side, but progressed to the last eight thanks to the 2-0 lead they held from the first leg of the last 16 tie in Copenhagen.

Such was Chelsea's confidence that the lead secured by Nicolas Anelka's brace three weeks ago would prove a safe enough cushion, Ancelotti started with Fernando Torres, Michael Essien and Florent Malouda on the bench.

Torres came on for the last 23 minutes but after sending one shot fizzing past a post and another into the second tier of the stand, the Spaniard remained in search of his first goal after six matches for his new club.

It was all of little concern to Ancelotti, however, as his side stayed on course for the semi-finals for the sixth time in eight years after joining fellow Premier League sides Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United in Friday's draw.

Chelsea lacked intensity but always looked capable of upping the pace if they needed to and they almost had to when Dame N'Doye cracked a free kick against a post in the visitors' only worthwhile goal attempt.

"I think the performance was good," Ancelotti said. "We didn't want to take a risk for this game and prepared well. We had good defensive control of the game, we worked hard, and we had a lot of opportunities to score.

"We obviously need to be more precise in front of goal, but these are little details. The general performance was good.

"Obviously we have to improve. We had so many chances to score, and we'll have to score. Obviously.

"But I see the team fresh and it's a good moment for us. We can improve, really, in the next games of the Champions League.

"I think we have a squad that's strong enough to win it. All the players are fit. The team is strong enough.

"If we play at 100 per cent we have a possibility to get to the final stages of the Champions League."

Copenhagen, 20 points clear at the top of their domestic league and the first Danish side to make the knockout stage of the Champions League, were happy with their night's work.

"Chelsea were the best team over two games. We were good in seven of the eight games but let ourselves down at Parken after the winter break," Copenhagen coach Stale Solbakken said.

"We didn't really have the quality to hurt them tonight, the few times we were through our finishing was poor so we've probably reached the extent of our level.

"Maybe if N'Doye's free kick had gone in we'd have had a look at Chelsea's nerves but all in all I'm really proud of what we've done in this campaign."

Ancelotti's attention was on Sunday's game against City and he said Torres, Essien and Malouda would all start.

"I'd already decided the team to play against Manchester City and I wanted those players to be fresh," said the Italian.

"The feeling is good, all the players are fit and fresh and we are in a good moment."

Eurosport / Reuters

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account