Blues have mental edge - Ancelotti

Published Add your comment

Football News

Live Team Sheet:

Manchester United: Van der Sar; Fabio Ferdinand Vidic O'Shea; Valencia Carrick Giggs, Park; Rooney, Hernandez.

Subs: Kuszczak, Smalling, Evans, Anderson, Nani, Scholes, Berbatov

Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic Luiz Terry Cole; Lampard Mikel Essien; Kalou Drogba Malouda

Subs: Turnbull Alex Ferreira Ramires Benayoun Torres Anelka

Carlo Ancelotti has claimed Chelsea hold the mental edge ahead of Sunday's Barclays Premier League title showdown at Manchester United - because Sir Alex Ferguson's men never saw them coming.

The Blues travel to Old Trafford on the brink of completing the greatest comeback in Premier League championship history, storming to within three points of United having been 15 behind just over two months ago.

They were in danger of falling 18 adrift when they were 1-0 down to Ferguson's side at Stamford Bridge on March 1 but turning around that game has sparked a run of 25 points from the last 27.

And that has caught United napping, according to Chelsea boss Ancelotti, who said: "Man United hoped they wouldn't have to play this kind of game against us."


The Italian, whose side will go top for the first time since November if they win on Sunday, added: "If they'd had more of an advantage, it could have been an easy game against us - not easy, but a different game.

They have to fight again for the title. Maybe two or three weeks ago, they didn't think in this game they'd need to fight so much. Mentally, for this reason, we can have an advantage."

The threat Chelsea pose concerned Ferguson enough for him rest half of his first-choice XI in Wednesday night's Champions League semi-final second leg against Schalke. The Blues' resurgence has also prompted the Scot to renew his attack on referees, claiming the champions were being handed the title by poor decisions.

Certainly, Chelsea benefited from two goals that should never have stood in Saturday's 2-1 victory over Tottenham.

But Ancelotti insisted his side had suffered more than their share of bad officiating this season, including in their Champions League defeat against United. The Italian rubbished any suggestion Ferguson's latest referee rant could unduly influence Howard Webb and his assistants on Sunday.

"If the referee has no experience, maybe I can be a little bit worried about this, but with Howard Webb there is no problem," said Ancelotti, who is renowned for his reluctance to criticise officials.

He said: "It's not good to speak about the referee. I don't want to put pressure on the referee. I have trust in the referees in England. They are good, I think. If they make a mistake, as all referees do in the world, it's normal. You have to accept that."

Chelsea realistically need to win all three of their remaining games to land the title, a feat that would surely make billionaire owner Roman Abramovich think twice about sacking Ancelotti. Reiterating his desire to stay, Ancelotti shrugged off the prospect of losing his job under those circumstances.

"It's not crazy to think that the club can change," he said. "Every club has this possibility to change the manager at the end of the season if they want to change. I've tried to do my best. But the club has to check my job. If they consider my job good, I will stay. If they don't consider it good, they can change."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Premier League
Manchester United

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again