Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has all but given up hope of his side closing the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester United and retaining their crown after the weekend’s latest results – but he does believe that if his side perform to their maximum, then they can end the season with European glory.
A hard-fought 1-1 draw against Stoke City left the Blues 11 points behind United following the latter’s 4-2 win at West Ham earlier in the day.
And even though Chelsea have a game in hand and must visit Old Trafford in the league still, manager Ancelotti believes that their title challenge is over and that the Champions League – Chelsea face United in the quarter-finals on Wednesday evening – now represents their best chance of silverware.
“It is a very important game, obviously, but I think we have to be happy to be involved in this game,” said the Italian.
“Everyone is waiting for this game. We want to do our best and want to show our best ability and we know there are 180 minutes to play and we hope to win.
“In the title race we have to close the gap, in the Champions League we are at the same level of the other teams so we have more chance to win.
“It will not be a surprise to play against them, they know us very well and we know them very well.
“We have to play our football and I think we will do better. We will have a very exciting game against United, they are one of the best teams in Europe.
“It was important (at Stoke) to see the team in good condition and without injury so we can prepare well for this next game.”