Blues duo pleased with start
Michael Essien and Salomon Kalou are delighted Chelsea's Champions League campaign has started positively.
By Giscard Gourizro
Last Updated: 16/09/09 12:43pm
Michael Essien and Salomon Kalou are delighted Chelsea's UEFA Champions League campaign has started in a positive fashion.
The Blues edged past Porto on Tuesday evening at Stamford Bridge courtesy of Nicolas Anelka's winner shortly after half-time.
Essien believes it is crucial Chelsea pick up maximum points on home soil, while he attributes their below-par performance to Didier Drogba's absence.
"It's a good start for us in the Champions League," he told skysports.com. "The most important thing is to win your home games.
"People are talking about our performance, but we missed Didier Drogba like all teams would miss their main striker.
"We played well. We scored without conceding, so it bodes well for the rest of the competition."
Kalou has echoed Essien's sentiments by stating it was the perfect way to start their Champions League campaign by winning on home soil.
The Ivory Coast international knows he is behind the likes of Drogba and Anelka in Carlo Ancelotti's pecking order and hopes he impressed enough to give the Italian food for thought.
"It was fantastic to start the Champions League game," said Kalou. "It wasn't easy because Porto are a great team and used to playing in the Champions League.
"I set Anelka up for the goal. Didier will be back in the team very soon, but I want to make it difficult for the manager by showing him I want a place in his starting line up."