The Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou was only playing against Atletico last night because Didier Drogba was suspended, but he rewarded Carlo Ancelotti with two well-taken goals. He could have had more and missed one easy goal very early in the match.
He said that the miss didn’t worry him: “It was a very good opportunity for me, I haven’t been playing lately and I scored two goals which is very good,” he said.
“It is very important to win at home, today we were pleased to win and for me it was a very good team performance.”
“I knew that we would have a lot of chances, playing with players like Deco, Ballack, Lampard shows we will always have a lot of opportunities, so even after missing the first one I wasn’t worried because I knew I would have a lot more,”
Kalou was replaced by Yuri Zhirkov, who was making his Champions League debut for Chelsea, 20 minutes before the end, and he said he shared a joke with Ancelotti about not getting time to get a hat-trick.
“The manager said to keep it for next week, so I’ll keep one for Saturday!” Kalou added. “It’s very important for a player to get on the pitch and show what he can do.”
“Ancelotti has great experience and brings that to Chelsea. The players are settling well and we have to keep working together.”
Does he think that Chelsea are good enough to go all the way?
“Of course we are good enough, last year we were in the semi-finals and now the goal is to go all the way to Madrid, we have the players and staff and everyone is doing his best to get there,” Kalou said.
“It is an important competition and we want to do better than last year, to be in Madrid.”
And so say all of us! Carlo Ancelotti was also pleased for Salomon, and in his usual understated way he said simply: “Kalou is an important player for us because when we are without Drogba he can play and do well,”
“He made a big mistake at the start, but he maintained good motivation and focus to score twice after that.”
“Kalou is a very good player. For him, it was very important to score. Also for us. He played very well for us.”