I am sad about Chelsea's situation but Frank Lampard will do a FANTASTIC job - Carlo Ancelotti
- Madrid host Chelsea in UCL
- Ancelotti saddened by Chelsea's situation
- Heaped praise on new manager Lampard
WHAT HAPPENED? Before Real Madrid host Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, the Italian manager fielded questions on his former club's nightmare 2022-23 campaign. The Blues currently sit 11th in the Premier League and head into this fixture on the back of a 1-0 loss to Wolves, which was also Lampard's first game in charge in his second managerial stint with the London club. Ancelotti has been linked with a return to Chelsea too, as the club seeks to appoint a permanent successor to Graham Potter in the summer, but he intends to see out his contract at Real through to 2024. Ancelotti has also insisted his side won't be taking the Blues lightly while rejecting any notion that his experience gives him an edge over Lampard, who he believes will do a "fantastic" job.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "I am sad to see them [like this], of the people that are still working there…. I am a supporter of Chelsea, I spent two fantastic years there," Ancelotti told a pre-match press conference.
"I have 20 more years of experience but this is not going to change what is going to influence what happens in the game. He (Lampard) is a fantastic manager, an extraordinary professional and in this case, I don’t think it [the experience] will be of much use. The truth is that he arrived a week ago and he is aware of how these games can go. He will do well in the time he stays at Chelsea."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Although Real Madrid are still in contention to win the Copa del Rey and defend their Champions League crown they find themselves 13 points behind Barcelona in La Liga, which has raised questions about Ancelotti's future in the Spanish capital. He is paying no attention to the outside noise, though, and says they are still well on course for a successful end to the campaign. "For a manager, for me as a coach to manage this squad, it’s very simple," Ancelotti added. "This team is well prepared. Because if we win the Cup we will have won all the titles in two years and there are teams that don’t they win that in their whole life."
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Real Madrid will host Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday, with the return leg scheduled a week later on April 18.