Ancelotti: League Cup not a priority
The Blues’ boss fielded a weakened team in the 4-3 defeat at Stamford Bridge, including promising youngsters and a bench that featured four teenagers.
“It was not our priority,” Ancelotti said in his post-match press conference. “I wanted to win but I’m not so disappointed. I was happy not with the result but for the performance, absolutely.
“We had a fantastic reaction when we were 3-1 down. We had 10 against 11 and showed good spirit and good personality, which is the most important thing for us.”
Twenty-year-old left-back Patrick van Aanholt - who scored one and set up another - Jeffrey Bruma and Gael Kakuta all started for Chelsea and Josh McEachran, 17, delivered a promising cameo after replacing the injured Salomon Kalou.
“You can count on the future with these players,” explained Ancelotti. “They played with flair, personality and character. This was their competition, they had a fantastic experience.”
Chelsea face fellow title aspirants Manchester City at Eastlands on Saturday, with the Londoners looking to preserve their 100 percent start to the Premier League season.
Skipper John Terry was substituted at half-time as part of a pre-determined plan ahead of the match.
“The plan was to give him 45 minutes and he played without problem,” Ancelotti said. “He will play against Manchester City.”
The Italian also revealed that Salomon Kalou, who was stretchered off with a thigh injury, and Yossi Benayoun, who limped off with a calf problem, will both miss “a few games” including the crucial City trip.
Meanwhile, Newcastle face Stoke at St James' Park in the league on Sunday.
By Luke Nicholls