Ancelotti sets sights on Champions League
With a two point lead at the top of the table, the champions are flying. Now manager Carlo Ancelotti has his sights set on winning the club’s first ever Champions League, after admitting Europe will be a priority for his team this season.
Chelsea’s 3-1 win at local rivals West Ham United puts them in pole position at the top after a formidable start, but Ancelotti has confessed it is the Champions League which most appeals to him this time around.
"Last season we won the domestic title and it’s a normal step to think more about the Champions League,” said Ancelotti, who twice won the competition while manager of AC Milan.
Ancelotti was extremely successful in Europe during his time with Milan, guiding the Serie A giants to three Champions League finals in eight years, and the Italian has acknowledged that the prospect of a Wembley final is an added incentive for his Chelsea team.
“The Champions League would be a fantastic opportunity this season because the final is at Wembley,” Ancelotti said after victory over West Ham. “That’s a good reason to try to win it.”
Chelsea begin their European campaign with a trip to Slovakia to play MSK Zilina on Wednesday, and after elimination at the hands of eventual winners Inter Milan in the last 16 last year, the Blues will hope for improved fortunes this time around.
Chelsea are in Group F alongside Olympique Marseille, Spartak Moscow and this week’s opponents MSK Zilina, and if their scintillating Premier League form is anything to go by they could take some stopping in Europe too.
And by comparison, a short trip across the capital to Wembley would be far easier for Chelsea to arrange logistically compared with their last Champions League final, some 2500 kilometres away in Moscow.
By Jonathan Fadugba