Football

Blues buoyed by famous win - Ballack

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Michael Ballack insists Chelsea enter Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal tired but encouraged by their midweek dramatics in Europe.

The Blues salvaged a 4-4 draw with Liverpool at Stamford Bridge to progress to the last four of the Champions League with a 7-5 aggregate victory and next up are Arsenal at Wembley.

"Reaching the Champions League semi-final has given us a confidence boost going into another big game," Ballack said. "We have to recover quickly because physically and mentally Liverpool was a very tough game."

He added: "We thought it would be a little bit easier than it was but in football anything is possible and we had to accept it.

"Games like the Liverpool one help to build confidence even more. We know we have a good team spirit but if you lose your mind and your head is down and if you win, it goes up. That's normal.

"You could see against Liverpool that everyone was really proud. This has given us a big boost for Arsenal.

"We have to come down a little bit now. We had a little time to celebrate beating Liverpool, but from Wednesday we had to focus on Arsenal.

"Everybody has experience in this squad and we know that at this time of the year we have a lot of important games if you come through in the Champions League and FA Cup."

Ballack is looking forward to his duel with Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who has been in fine form since returning from a knee injury.

"Sometimes being injured helps you to recover and prepare for the upcoming weeks - that's what you can see now from Cesc," he said. "He is back and straight away he is playing well, just like Michael Essien has been for us. We know Cesc is a good player and in this situation we have to be aware."

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Topics:
Arsenal
European News
Football
Chelsea
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Michael Ballack
FA Cup
Michael Essien
Liverpool

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