Ancelotti: Blues far from meltdown

Carlo Ancelotti rebuffed suggestions that Chelsea are in crisis after some desperate defending from set-pieces allowed Everton to claim a 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues, who had not conceded a point at home until today, have not now won for four games, two of them in the Barclays Premier League.

All three Everton goals arrived courtesy of Chelsea’s inability to defend set-pieces but Ancelotti was content with his side’s performance and insisted there were no major worries at the club.

“Who can say we are in crisis?” asked Ancelotti. “I don’t think so. I want to be objective and when I look at the game and the way we played I saw that my team played very well.

“We didn’t win because of mistakes at set-pieces. But we played very well for 90 minutes with intensity and good concentration.

“We created a lot of chances to score and were unlucky today. I am happy because Chelsea played very well for 90 minutes, (but) I am unhappy with the result. I didn’t have to say anything to my players because they did the maximum.

“We didn’t win but that can happen in football – you can draw at home. We defended too close to our goal. It was not necessary. The defence stayed close to the goal and Cech had no room to catch the ball.

“We conceded three goals from the same situations. We had the same problem against Aston Villa earlier in the season and we have to improve again.

“We still have the same chance to win the title. It will be a long race until the end of the season. The Premier League is very competitive.

“We did not make individual mistakes, they were collective ones.”

The Italian was adamant that he would not be signing any players in January and is clearly getting frustrated with that familiar line of questioning.

Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Michael Essien and John Mikel Obi all leave for the African Nations Cup after Chelsea’s fixture against Fulham on December 28.

“I believe Didier Drogba, at the moment, is very important for us but I believe we can win without him in January,” added Ancelotti.

“I would like to say, for the last time, we will not buy anybody in January - 100%.”

Chelsea were rocked in the 12th minute when Louis Saha headed a free-kick from Leighton Baines against the post and into the net off the back of Petr Cech.

But goals from Drogba and Nicolas Anelka put the Blues in command only for Chelsea to fail to deal with a throw-in and substitute Ayegbeni Yakubu pounced to put Everton level in first-half stoppage time.

Drogba restored Chelsea’s lead in the 58th minute but the Blues failed to deal with another free-kick in the 63rd minute and an attempted clearance bounced off the back of Saha and into the net.

Everton boss David Moyes said it was his team’s best result of the season.

The struggling Toffees have more than 10 players in the treatment room and so Moyes had every right to beam with pleasure for a change.

“It was a great draw for us,” said Moyes. “I’d have certainly taken a draw before the game with the team that we had out.

“They didn’t half show great resilience and endeavour. We know the quality Chelsea have got, and we know that at the moment we can’t match that.

“I have to give great credit to the boys that played today. I thought they were immense.

“Chelsea have very few weaknesses. Undoubtedly they are in the top three teams in this country and the same in Europe. They have very few weaknesses, and I thought today we kept at it.

“The team showed a great spirit and that’s what we’ve tended to do at Everton.

“I’d say this was our best result of the season. Chelsea caused us lots of problems but I think we’re entitled to that bit of luck.”

More in this Section

I won’t stay at Spurs for the sake of it, says ambitious KaneI won’t stay at Spurs for the sake of it, says ambitious Kane

Russell mends broken fences with TownsendRussell mends broken fences with Townsend

Tokyo Games likely to start in July 2021Tokyo Games likely to start in July 2021

Taylor v Serrano postponedTaylor v Serrano postponed


Lifestyle

Ellie O’Byrne rounds up some of the virtual gigs, films and other eventsArts Noticeboard: Online entertainment options

It’s 25 years since Toy Story first stunned us with its brilliance. Esther McCarthy looks back onJohn Lasseter’s masterpiece and why it’s regarded as a milestone of modern cinemaInfinity and beyond: How Toy Story altered movie history

All the wines recommended this week are available for delivery.Wine with Leslie Williams: Looking for a wine delivery service? Here are a few ...

If I could be reborn for a day I’d be a cat. I love their serenity and independence and how they always manage to find that one shaft of sunlight.This Much I Know: Broadcaster, Mary Kennedy

More From The Irish Examiner