Essien happy to do the dirty work

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Football News

Michael Essien is ready to sacrifice his all-action style in order to do another shackling job on Liverpool's Steven Gerrard when Chelsea look to reach the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday night.

A superb performance by the Blues at Anfield earned them a 3-1 first-leg lead and Essien's man-marking job on Gerrard was among the chief reasons why Chelsea ran out comfortable winners, leaving Liverpool needing at least three goals at Stamford Bridge to stand any chance of progression.

"I always listen to the manager and I just go onto the field for every game and do what he asks me to do," said Essien.

"So I don't really mind where I play as long as I'm out there doing a job for the team and the manager," he added.

Essien was rested for Chelsea's 4-3 Barclays Premier League win over Bolton on Saturday but will return to the line-up as Hiddink's side look for a place in the last four.

He has spent much of the season on the sidelines following a knee ligament injury sustained on international duty but he returned to score a vital goal as Chelsea earned a crucial 2-2 draw to see off Juventus in the last round.

"Everybody said I must have been very happy with the goal, but for me, it is all about the team work," said Essien.

"We did a good job in Turin and it was a very positive result, so that is what is most important. I don't play for myself, I play for the team. I'd describe myself as a box-to-box midfielder, but I'll always respect the manager's decision, wherever I'm picked to play.

The arrival of Hiddink as interim coach has transformed Chelsea's fortunes. The side appeared to be struggling to cope under former boss Luiz Felipe Scolari but the Dutchman has made a massive difference.

And Essien said: "He knows how to talk to his players and he has his own style which is very different to the others I've played for here."

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European News
Bolton Wanderers
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Steven Gerrard
Michael Essien

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