Carlo Ancelotti watched Chelsea cruise to the win at FC Copenhagen they so desperately needed before telling his players: "Now go and beat Manchester United".
It got better for Chelsea when Tottenham were beaten 3-1 at Blackpool, giving their London rivals the chance to reclaim fourth place in the league if they beat United on Tuesday night.
"We don't have to be happy for Tottenham's defeat, but it was good news for us," said Ancelotti. "Now we have to play against United and try and put in the same performance."
The Blues last night moved to within touching distance of the Champions League quarter-finals and eased the mounting pressure on manager Ancelotti with a 2-0 victory in their last-16 first leg at a frozen Parken Stadium.
The result kept alive their one remaining hope of silverware this season following a miserable few months that have seen last year's double winners all but surrender their Barclays Premier League title and crash out of the FA Cup.
Ancelotti refused to get carried away with the result, which came against a Copenhagen side playing their first competitive match since Danish football's two-and-a-half month winter shutdown.
Asked if their miserable run was over, the Italian said: "I don't want to say. I've suggested that once or twice before.
"We had a lot of motivation for this game, but now we have to continue it. United will be a fantastic opportunity for us to maintain the same level of football."
Ancelotti defiantly declared on Monday that "Chelsea has not died", and he added last night: "We are still alive. I had an idea before the game, and I maintain the same idea now.
"We are not dead. It's just one game, though. I want to see my team play again, again, again."
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