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Ancelotti plans Chelsea’s dominance


COACH Carlo Ancelotti plans to establish Chelsea as the leading force in English football after winning the Premier League in his first season at the club.

The Blues last lifted the title in 2006 but thrashed Wigan 8-0 on Sunday to wrest it from Manchester United. The 50-year-old Ancelotti, who joined Chelsea from AC Milan on a three-year deal last summer, said: “I hope to stay here a long time and win a lot of titles. We have a very good squad, for next year and the years after.”

Ancelotti succeeded Guus Hiddink as the Blues’ boss on July 1, 2009 after eight years at the San Siro, where he won one Serie A and two Champions League trophies. On appointment as Chelsea coach, the Italian spoke of his desire to guide the club to a maiden Champions League crown in his debut season.

That bid, however, was ended by Inter Milan in the first knockout round but the side bounced back to win the Premier League and deny United an unprecedented fourth successive title. Ancelotti now hopes to match Jose Mourinho’s achievement in 2005 and 2006 of leading the west London side to back-to-back league titles.

But before then, he could do something that neither Mourinho nor any other previous coach of Chelsea managed by winning a league and FA Cup double. Ancelotti, whose side faces Portsmouth at Wembley at the weekend, added: “Mourinho did some fantastic work and won two titles consecutively. This is my first and I hope to do the same as Mourinho.

“Now we have the opportunity to win the double and I hope that my players can, after these celebrations.”

Chelsea’s triumph arrived despite six defeats and five draws over the course of an unpredictable season in the top tier. The west London club eventually pipped United by a point and Ancelotti felt it was their league double over Alex Ferguson’s men – November’s 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge and a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford in April – that made the difference.

“The key point, I think, was our victory at home and also, above all, in Manchester,” he said. “They were the key for this title because that improved our confidence and sent United a little bit down.”

Chelsea went into the final day knowing that anything other than victory would probably see United – which beat Stoke 4-0 – snatch the title. But Didier Drogba’s hat-trick, a Nicolas Anelka double and strikes from Salomon Kalou, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole saw them demolish Wigan and score seven or more goals for the fourth time this term.

“We had a fantastic season, not only by winning the Premier League but because we showed a good style on the pitch,” Ancelotti said. “But we played much better in the second half. We played a good match and won, and that was our aim – to win this game and close this title.

“We are very happy and I want to say a lot of thanks to my owner, Roman Abramovich, to my club and everyone who worked with me in this season, supporting me every day, and above all, my players. I found a fantastic team here who worked very well everyday, maintaining a good atmosphere as a team.

“We won this title because we played as a team and worked as a team, everyone. I remember every victory because every one stays in your mind. I’m happy to have done this in my first season. I had a lot of help because I found a team and a club with fantastic organisation. So it was easy for me to do my best.

“Manchester United stayed with us right to the end. I said it would go to the last game, so we have to be proud and happy that we won against such a fantastic team like United. They were very good opponents.”

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