Kalou - We've learnt lessons
Salomon Kalou feels Chelsea have taken valuable lessons from their early Champions League exit last season.
Last Updated: 01/04/11 1:26pm
Salomon Kalou feels Chelsea have taken valuable lessons from their early UEFA Champions League exit last season.
The Blues were denied the chance to add European success to their Premier League and FA Cup double last year when they crashed out of the tournament to Inter Milan at the last-16 stage.
Eventual champions Inter clinched a 2-1 victory in the first leg before running out 1-0 winners at Stamford Bridge to seal progression to the quarter-finals.
Ivorian forward Kalou feels conceding a goal at the San Siro was the key to Chelsea's undoing and says Carlo Ancelotti's men, who take on Manchester United in the last eight next week, are determined not to make the same mistake this time around.
The 25-year-old told Uefa's official website: "We have learnt from the past.
"Losing against Inter last year was a difficult time, but we now know that it's very important not to concede an away goal.
"That made the difference last year - when we lost 2-1 in Milan.
"Even though we were better than Inter in the home leg, against a manager like [Jose] Mourinho on his return to Stamford Bridge, you knew he was going to have a game plan and it paid off.
"That's what we have to learn. Away games are very important and that's how you win the Champions League."
Kalou's Blues team-mate Fernando Torres has struggled to make an impact at the Bridge since his £50million move from Liverpool in January, and is still looking for his first goal for the club.
But the Ivorian is keeping faith in his fellow forward to break his duck and help Chelsea to Champions League success, adding: "He can bring a lot.
"He has pace and he can score goals. We have amazing strikers in Nico [Anelka], Didier [Drogba], Torres and me, but he can help us take the team to the next level."
Kalou admits this season has been a testing one for Chelsea, who are currently third in the Premier League and outsiders to retain the title.
The Blues also crashed out of the FA Cup to Everton in the fourth round, and the forward feels a wobble in confidence is responsible for them failing to meet expectations so far this season.
"It has been difficult because we started by winning by (big margins), and so everyone thought it was going to be an easy season for Chelsea," he said.
"Then our confidence suffered and it was harder to bounce back. But we are doing well now and recently beat United in the league so that can be a good turning point for us."