Carlo Ancelotti claimed Nicolas Anelka is in the best form of his career after Chelsea ensured qualification for the knockout stage of the Champions League with a 4-1 win over Spartak Moscow at Stamford Bridge.
Goals from Anelka, his fifth in Europe this season, a brace from Branislav Ivanovic and a penalty from Didier Drogba crushed the Russians, who scored a late consolation goal through Nikita Bazhenov.
"Anelka was the key to opening up the game. He scored a fantastic goal - the most important," said Ancelotti.
"I think he is happy at this moment. He's the same compared to last year and the same Anelka I found when I came here, nothing has changed. He has experience. He maintains very good skill, ability, and speed. Overall he is in the best moment of his career."
Ancelotti insists Chelsea will end up Champions League winners if they succeed in achieving his 'three steps to heaven'. The victory over the Russians, their fourth straight success in Europe this season, took them close to achieving stage one of Ancelotti's treble top.
"There will be a long race getting to the final. When you reach the first aim, which is to win the group, the next aim is to reach the final, and then to win that," added Ancelotti.
"I don't know if we can do this, but we have a possibility. We have the motivation to do this, but sometimes you have to be lucky also. We are working to play the last game at Wembley. In the final. It is important to start well and it's still important to finish in first place in this group.
"But I think that the decisive time for the Champions League is in February and March. Then we have to be ready. Now we're in a good moment and we're hoping to avoid injury and keep people fit.
"Every one of us has motivation. There are a lot of things to think about - a final in London and the fact that no London team has won the Champions League. I think that helps to improve the motivation.
"It is the same for all of us. I'm not English. I'm working for Chelsea and have a particular feeling for this club. If there is a final, it's an extra motivation for everyone, not just the English players."
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