Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti admits his team will have to be better to beat Manchester United after their 1-0 win against Wigan on Saturday.
A goal from Florent Malouda handed the Blues victory, but it was clear many of the players had one eye on Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg at Old Trafford, which Chelsea will enter trailing 1-0 after a first-leg loss at Stamford Bridge.
“It?s positive to win because it was not easy to prepare this game between the quarter-finals,” Ancelotti said.
“The first half was not good; the second half was better. In the end we won – it was not a good performance, but it was not easy.”
“We have to play better at Old Trafford but this is normal. To win there we have to play at 100 percent.”
January signing Fernando Torres came off the bench against Wigan and three times went close to opening his account for his new club, but the striker was denied by poor finishing and some excellent saves from goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi.
“Every one of us wanted him to score today and he was really unlucky sometimes and other times the keeper made a great save,” Ancelotti said.
“But we have to continue to have confidence in him. He moved well because he created several chances for himself; maybe he will score the most important goals of our season.”
“We have a strong squad, all the games we played against them (Manchester United) were in balance. And when we needed to win there (Old Trafford) last year we did.”
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez, meanwhile, believes his side – which are a point adrift at the bottom of the English Premier League – did not deserve to lose at Stamford Bridge, and has predicted they will respond well from the setback.
“Nobody expected Wigan to get a positive result but I?m very proud of our display,” Martinez said.
“We were brave, we kept the ball well. We frustrated them for long spells and defended very well.”
Martinez was furious at Malouda’s winner, claiming his goalkeeper was fouled as he attempted to collect a Didier Drogba corner in the 67th minute.
“Because of that it was a huge feeling of frustration when the way they scored,” Martinez said.
“The keeper was clearly impeded by Torres, it?s as clear as day his elbow was in his face.”
“I?m a huge fan of Howard Webb and I?m extremely disappointed he couldn?t give us that call because it was the call of the game.”
“Sometimes when you are at the bottom of the league those decisions don?t go your way.”
“But we will have eight games left and I am 100 percent sure if we play that way we?ll have enough points to stay in the Premier League.”
“I only wish there were 30 games left because this team is starting to click and if there was longer left in the season I could see us finishing in the top 10.”
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