Hiddink hails Blues reaction
Guus Hiddink has labelled Chelsea as one of the best teams in Europe after sinking Arsenal in style.
Last Updated: 10/05/09 7:12pm
Guus Hiddink labelled Chelsea as one of the best teams in Europe after watching his side bounce back from their defeat to Barcelona in empathic style against Arsenal.
After being dumped out of the UEFA Champions League in controversial fashion by Barca in midweek, the Blues thumped Arsenal 4-1 at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Hiddink was delighted with the response of his players after watching Alex and Nicolas Anelka score before a Kolo Toure own goal and a late Florent Malouda strike wrapped up the points in North London as Nicklas Bendtner netted for Arsenal.
The Chelsea boss - who is to return to his sole job as Russia manager at the end of the season - admits his squad faced a tough task in forgetting their European heartbreak, but he was not disappointed with the response.
"I am very proud of the reaction of the team," Hiddink told Sky Sports.
"Everyone knows that after Wednesday it was difficult. You can talk about it (bouncing back) but it is difficult to make it happen.
"The team reacted perfectly, except for 15 minutes where we had to wake up. Then the team had a great reaction.
"It shows that this team is one of the strongest in Europe."
The victory over fourth-placed Arsenal guaranteed Chelsea will finish in the top three of the Premier League, booking a place in the group stages of next season's Champions League.
But Hiddink is not resting on his laurels and has refused to give up hope of catching Liverpool in the final games of the season.
"There is now a big gap between us and Arsenal and we keep going," the Dutchman added.
Malouda was also delighted with the performance, adding: "We knew that it would be difficult to start again but I think we did it very well this afternoon and we are very happy with the result because to win here at the Emirates like we did is very good."