Belfast Telegraph

Chelsea boss Ancelotti hails 'perfect' Terry

Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti hailed his "perfect" captain John Terry after two goals from Didier Drogba against Arsenal put the Blues back on top of the Barclays Premier League.

Terry, stripped of the England captaincy by England boss Fabio Capello on Friday after a week of lurid headlines about his private life, produced a typically inspirational performance that won more plaudits from his club boss.

"John is the perfect captain for Chelsea," said Ancelotti.

"My captain has a fantastic attitude. He is doing very well in every game.

"It is very important for the team to have this leadership. He was always in control of the game. He has a strong mentality.

"He is working for his club and we are happy to have this performance from him in this moment.

"The England captaincy was not my decision and I do not want to judge about this decision. I knew John met Capello but I did not meet with (Terry) afterwards."

Ancelotti refused to rule Arsenal out of the title race even though the Gunners are now nine points behind the leaders after this Stamford Bridge defeat.

"Arsenal still have a possibility because they are a good team," added the Italian.

"It depends on the performances of Manchester United and Chelsea. I am not sure it will be a race with two horses."

The Chelsea coach was equally delighted with the form of Drogba, who has now scored three goals in two games since he returned from the African Nations Cup.

Drogba's brace took his tally for the season to 22 and 12 in 12 against the Gunners.

"We scored an unbelievable second goal," said Ancelotti.

"It was fantastic movement, fantastic passing and a fantastic shot from Didier. This is football.

"Didier did very well and he is in a good moment. He came back from the African Nations Cup with fantastic motivation and continues to have very good performances."

Although Arsenal had more of the possession than Chelsea, Drogba's eighth minute opener settled Chelsea's nerves and his second in the 22nd minute sealed victory.

"We did some fantastic defensive work," added Ancelotti.

"We tried to score more but we worked together for 90 minutes. Sometimes you have to defend.

"We were winning 2-0 and it was important to defend. The defenders, midfielders and strikers did a fantastic job.

"Petr Cech was in control for 90 minutes. Arsenal produced some fantastic attacking play so it was not easy. Maybe they had more possession than us but this is not football. Football is attack, defence and results also. We deserved to win."

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger credited Chelsea with a fine defensive display and admitted he was impressed by the way Terry had managed to shrug off his personal problems.

"I believe John Terry wants to win when he plays football and sometimes for people, to play football can be a diversion to what is happening off the field," said Wenger.

"I had some players, who when they had private problems, were even stronger on the pitch because it was a place where they could get out of it.

"You have to congratulate Chelsea. We did not get a demonstration of football but they were efficient and that is what made the difference.

"The first goal contributed to our defeat but apart from that we had great spirit and attitude. We could not get back to 2-1 and get them really wobbling.

"They defended very well. We were unlucky with one or two decisions from the referee but we had mountains of possession.

"We could not transform it into goals. We had 70% of possession today. We were always attacking but in a big game like that when you are 2-0 down, you demand too much.

"I am completely happy with the performance and spirit. We didn't turn-up against Manchester United but today we had the expected performance.

"We were completely dominant. I always had the feeling we could come back but you have to give Chelsea credit. They are very experienced at the back.

"We tried very hard and the team gave absolutely everything and sometimes when you lose, you have to acknowledge that as well."

Arsenal are now nine points adrift of Chelsea and face Liverpool next week but Wenger refuses to give up on the title.

"We are not in the best of positions but we will not give up," he added.

"It is vital against Liverpool but it was vital today and we still have lost."

Belfast Telegraph


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