Ancelotti praises Malouda show
Carlo Ancelotti labelled Florent Malouda the best player on the pitch after Chelsea's 4-1 win over West Ham.
Last Updated: 13/03/10 8:36pm
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti labelled Florent Malouda the best player on the pitch after his side's 4-1 win over West Ham.
The Blues went back to the top of the Premier League with the win, although they were held 1-1 at half-time by the Hammers at Stamford Bridge.
Malouda was a constant force down the left and his performance paid dividends as he drove Chelsea to a comfortable victory after the break.
The Frenchman set up Alex to head home the opener, and crossed for Didier Drogba to score the second before adding a third himself.
Ancelotti told Sky Sports: "He was the best player on the pitch today.
"He scored a fantastic goal, did a fantastic assist for the first goal and the second goal for Didier."
Despite the scoreline, it was not an emphatic performance from Chelsea, which makes the result even more impressive.
And Ancelotti says confidence in the squad will be high ahead of the visit of Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night.
"We scored four goals and it was an important performance for us to improve our confidence," he added.
"In this period it is very important to have confidence because every game is important, every game can decide the future.
"I think the first half we played well. It was unlucky because West Ham broke with a fantastic shot from distance.
"But we played well and we wanted to maintain balance, we wanted to maintain confidence in our play.
"We did in the second half because we scored the second goal and had good control of the game until the end of the match."
The Blues go top as Manchester United do not play until Sunday, as the race for the league title starts to hot up.
Although the win puts them back on the summit, Chelsea's Italian tactician knows there is still a long way to go this season.
He remarked: "There will be a long race to win this title.
"There are strong teams - Manchester United, Arsenal - so we have to maintain our confidence and we have to maintain our play."
"We want to play our best every game.
"I knew very well that in England there are very strong teams, but we have stayed in the top for eight months and we want to stay until the end of the season."
Ross Turnbull played his first ever Premier League game for Chelsea between the sticks, and he could do nothing about Scott Parker's superb strike in the opening period.
The former Middlesbrough keeper is likely to play against Inter in midweek as Ancelotti confirmed that Petr Cech and Hilario are not expected to recover from their injuries.
He said: "Hilario and Petr Cech I think are not able to play on Tuesday."