Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti admitted he was worried as the game against Hull seemed to be stuck at 1-1 with just injury time to be played, but he was impressed that the team kept fighting until the end.
“For sure I was worried,” he said. “But it is good that the team believes all the time they can score. We could have scored in this match after one minute and we scored a fantastic goal from Didier at the last minute.”
“We lost a goal in the last minute against Manchester United and this is football. It is important for us to believe.”
“But this is normal after just one month,” he continued. “This match was very difficult because we went behind but we didn’t lose the idea to play and in the end we deserved to win.”
He was asked if he was surprised at how well Hull defended, and managed to keep Lampard in check for most of the game. He replied: “Lampard played in a difficult position because when the opposing team keep a very close defensive line to the offensive midfield it is more difficult to play.
“I was not surprised how Hull played because it is normal to have an opponent who stayed in our half and looked to do counter attack and use long ball to create difficulties. That is normal, not different, not a surprise.”
Regarding the new diamond formation, did he think that the players were coping with the new system? He went on: “I don’t know the time it will take the players to get used to the system, we have to work and it will take less time if we work like this last month. And we like to think we will still have to improve at the end of the season because there is not a perfect system.”
But the fact is that Chelsea did dominate the game, and there were many chances that went astray that would normally have been converted if the players were sharper, Even though Drogba scored twice, he alone had more than ten attempts on goal, which normally would have resulted in a bigger tally in the end.
But a relieved Ancelotti has got over the first game with three points in the bag, and hopefully the team will be more relaxed on Tuesday night at Sunderland. They may need to be, as Steve Bruce’s team were impressive yesterday and may cause Chelsea more problems than Hull could muster.
Ancelotti finished by praising the fans for their dedication from beginning to end. He said: “I was surprised for the welcome the fans gave to me, I was very happy, and I like very much the atmosphere of the stadium. I think the fans put passion for the team until the last minute.”